T3 Bayside is a pair of pioneering timber office buildings in Toronto’s new mixed-use community, Bayside, on the shore of Lake Ontario. At 42 meters high, they will be the tallest timber office buildings in North America . The first building is currently under construction and the second is planned to start in 2023.
Having established itself as a world leader in timber office development, Hines’ ambition for the project was to set a new standard for sustainable timber construction while providing a world-class office building which reflects the integrated ‘live-work-play’ ethos of the emerging Bayside community.
Enhancing the Public Realm. Occupying an important position in the neighbourhood, T3 has been designed to enhance the existing masterplan and to transform the former industrial shoreline into a vibrant urban destination. Arranged around a public plaza, the twin buildings form a welcoming pedestrian gateway to the Bayside development, drawing visitors into the site and connecting it with the adjacent park and the waterfront promenade beyond. Retail and café units at street level will create a hub of activity and make the plaza a natural meeting place and a lively social space to be shared by visitors, workers, and residents alike.
One of the buildings’ most distinctive features is a sequence of stepped interior spaces which form a continuous loop around the buildings’ outer edges. The first three ‘steps’ will be open to the public, acting as an extension to the plaza, creating an urban living room softening the transition from public to private space. In addition to providing space to meet friends, or simply pass time, the flexible double-height spaces will host pop-up events such as exhibitions, films, and performances. The steps are clearly articulated externally through the arrangement of fins and façade detailing framing the interior spaces. This relationship between interior and exterior makes the building easy to read and visually connects the plaza with the interior programme to encourage visitors into the building.
Flexible and Healthy Workspaces. The upper ‘steps’ belong to the office spaces and act as double height spaces joining two office floors. A key element of the design was offering tenants flexibility and the option to personalise their space. ‘Soft spots’ in the slabs can be removed or restored, allowing tenants to adapt the space to their preferred arrangement. The buildings’ open and flexible floorplates can also meet the needs of a diverse range of tenants, from small start-ups requiring only a small area, to large, established businesses who may want to occupy an entire floor, or multiple floors. These design elements allow the building to adapt to changing needs as businesses grow or as work practices evolve over time.
Targeting WELL Certification, the design is strongly centred on occupant wellbeing to provide world-class office space which can cater to modern methods of working and attract the best tenants. Internally, the timber is fully exposed, celebrating the building’s structure while providing a warm, natural aesthetic and contributing to a healthy interior environment. Exceptional amenities, including a tenant lounge and a rooftop terrace with views over Lake Ontario, provide workers with a variety of break-out areas, encouraging a diverse workday experience and access to the outdoors.
A Model for Sustainable Timber Construction. Amongst the many benefits of T3’s timber structure is the minimised environmental impact in construction, resulting in an estimated 40-50% reduction in embodied carbon when compared to a traditional office building. Targeting LEED Gold certification, the building incorporates a number of low-energy solutions and, as part of an ambitious whole-life sustainability strategy, is also designed so that it can be disassembled. Mechanical joints between the timber components mean that once T3 has reached the end of its life they can simply be undone and the building disassembled, minimising waste, extending the life of the materials and contributing to a circular economy.