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Taking the Tower Renewal Discussion to Vancouver

Vancouver’s high-rise rental apartment stock may vary in materiality from Toronto’s, however it’s no less in need of reinvestment and regeneration. In the article that follows Christopher Cheung looks to the Tower Renewal initiative for inspiration and a cue for what is possible on the west coast.

Click here to view the article.

All images courtesy of Christopher Cheung.

 

ERA Architects is Thrilled to Welcome David Winterton Back to the Team as Our Newest Associate

David Winterton is excited to return to Toronto and ERA Architects after 11 ½ years working and learning in the storied New York firm of Robert A. M. Stern Architects.

There he served as a designer for Fifteen Central Park West, an 890,000 square foot, two-tower residential project occupying a full city block along Central Park in New York City; 50 Connaught Road, an office building in Hong Kong; The Yards, a new mixed-use riverfront neighborhood on the former grounds of the Washington Navy Yard Annex in Washington, DC; Projet Viger, a mixed-use development in Montreal; and a private residence in New Jersey. Mr. Winterton was Project Manager for the Brompton, a 300,000-square-foot residential tower on New York City’s Upper East Side; a private residence in Singapore; and two villa enclave projects in Hong Kong. David was also Project Architect for two condominium towers in Vancouver and a villa in Grunewald Berlin.

Prior to his time in New York David worked at ERA Architects on various historic preservation projects including the Massey Harris Loft conversion and various Heritage Conservation District Studies. Because of his keen interest in the preservation and improvement of the public realm he founded the Friends of Allan Gardens in 1999, a group formed to advocate for the restoration of the Palmhouse and grounds of one of Toronto’s oldest parks, and on whose board of directors he currently serves.

David received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Toronto and his Master of Architecture degree from McGill University. He is a registered architect in the State of New York, a LEED Accredited Professional, and a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. His research on Toronto’s rich early 20th century architecture and architects led to the publication of his essay, “Toronto’s Edwardian Skyscraper Row,” in the Journal of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada. He is eager to further this research and hopes to foster a greater appreciation for the fascinating story of the evolution of architecture in Toronto.

For a sampling of David’s past work with RAMSA, click here.

The (Lane)way Forward: Exploring the Potential of Under-Served Public Space

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As Toronto’s population increases in density, it places more pressure on ever-shrinking resources, including public space. The use of laneways in the city to increase public space offers the opportunity to release some of this pressure.

ERA’s Annabel Vaughan moderated a panel discussion on November 30th on just this subject. Organized by The Laneway Project, panellists included Jake Tobin Garrett of Park People, Jessica Myers of the Junction BIA, Jonathan Morrice of Toronto Police Service’s 55 Division, Mark van Elsberg, Public Realm Section, City of Toronto, and Monica Wickeler, a visual artist who works in street art and murals.

The Laneway Project – a not-for-profit corporation – champions change, initiating action through a grassroots approach, specializing in ‘tweets to shovels’ social media activism in the realms of planning, urban design, architecture, landscape, communications, research, community engagement and public policy. They would like to see a time-based sharing of spaces: to push laneways to offer an ebb and flow as dynamic, multi-purpose community spaces over a 24-hour cycle.

Laneways lie on the marginal edge and are often associated with crime, however they are vital as potentially thriving public spaces. Toronto often lags behind other international centres when it comes to optimizing our public space. An interesting precedent is Detroit’s TAP (The Alley Project), where garages host street art workshops and animated laneways are adorned with graffiti, creating spaces to engage youth, ultimately changing the focus of their use.

The City of Toronto aims to facilitate stakeholder-driven, incremental interventions of a similar nature, seeking out opportunities to revitalize and enliven existing laneways. This has included limiting parking to enable restaurants to set up licenced patios in alleys, reinventing micro-retail environments, developing parking spot parklettes, retaining historic laneway networks, developing guidelines for housing, and supporting laneway innovations hosted by BIAs and communities as part of the public realm.

The panel successfully fleshed out these opportunities; for Toronto, the conversation is just getting started.

For more information please click here.

‘Tower, Slab, Superblock: Social Housing Legacies and Futures’ Sparks the Imagination on Postwar Design and Construction

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Participants included: Geraldine Dening, Co-Founder, Architects for Social Housing, Simon Elmer, Co-Founder, Architects for Social Housing, Phineas Harper, Deputy Director, The Architecture Foundation, Paul Karakusevic, Founder and Partner, Karakusevic Carson Architects, Jean-Louis Cohen – Sheldon H. Solow Professor in the History of Architecture at New York University, Javier Arpa, Research and Education Coordinator of The Why Factory at Delft University of Technology,
Kenny Cupers, Associate Professor in the History and Theory of Architecture and Urbanism at the University of Basel, Frédéric Druot, Founder and Partner, Frédéric Druot Architecture, Susanne Schindler – Architect, writer, and housing columnist for Urban Omnibus, Martine August, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University, and Graeme Stewart, Principal, ERA Architects.

“Never demolish, never remove or replace, always add, transform and reuse!”
– Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal

On December 10th a group of international guests will assemble at the Cooper Union Rose Auditorium in New York City to share thoughts on policy and design improvements to enhance the existing stock of postwar social hosing in North America and Europe, reflecting on the need for creating solutions to reimaging this housing stock.

Hosted by the Architecture League of New York, the focus of the symposium will be the approaches and best practice of three cities: London, Paris, and Toronto. ERA’s Graeme Stewart will speak of the Toronto experience and emerging opportunities through our ongoing work on Tower Renewal.

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When: 9:30 AM – 6:30 PM Saturday, December 10, 2016
Where: Rose Auditorium, The Cooper Union, 41 Cooper Square, New York

For background event information please click here.
For event information please click here.

Rendez-Vous Maestria: The Restoration of the GCC’s Suspended Ceilings

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On Friday, December 2nd, Jan Kubanek of ERA Architects will present La Restauration des Plafond Suspendus de Centre Conférence du government à Ottawa (The Restoration of the Government Conference Centre’s Suspended Ceilings), a rich insight into the revitalization of the Canadian landmark as it shifts into its future role of housing the Senate of Canada. In 2028 the space will return to its original use, allowing for explorations in adaptable and reversible interventions. Jan will also touch on, among other topics, the complexities pertaining to the ceiling’s materiality, spatial qualities and safety, based on conservation and contemporary ideologies.

La Restauration des Plafond Suspendus de Centre Conférence du government à Ottawa is one of many intriguing conversations taking place at Rendez-Vous Maestria, a multi-day event hosted by the Conseil des métiers d’art du Québec. From December 1st to 4th, expertise in craft and built heritage will be celebrated by curators, artisans, designers, architects and the public as they convene to exchange ideas, renew knowledge and showcase innovations in traditional techniques and current practices.

Link to GCC:
http://www.eraarch.ca/project/government-conference-centre/

Link to Rendez-Vous Maestria:
https://www.metiersdart.ca/en/maestria-show

 

76 Howard Street’s Moving Day – Video Update

It’s one thing to pack and move house, and quite another to move a house!

William Whitehead House, at the ripe old age of 130 years, was relocated under exacting circumstances to allow for the development of 1000 condos units in the St. Jamestown neighourhood. The team at ERA was on hand to supervise and document the process as it unfolded on Saturday, November 26th. The images that follow represent a chronological photo-essay by Daniel Lewis, Project Manager and Scott Weir, Principal.

Check out the article by the Globe and Mail’s Dave Leblanc. Click here.

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A Sense of ‘History in the Making’ for a Toronto Residence

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As highlighted in RUE Magazine’s article, “History in the Making” – the beauty is in the details.

The multi-spread editorial in the recently published Issue 44, features the renovation and façade restoration of a residential project in Toronto’s Summerhill neighbourhood. The home was originally designed by John Wilson Siddall and respectfully transitioned into a more contemporary aesthetic by Croma Design and ERA Architects.

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With detailing at the forefront as guiding principle, the article commends the thoughtful approach used by the designers: from the handling of material additions that blend seamlessly with the original structure, to the reinstatement of key circulation elements in the revised layouts; all aspects of approach result in uniform flow and spatial harmony.

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Read the feature in Issue 44 of Rue Magazine: http://www.ruemag.com/magazine/issue/issue-forty-four#132

Project profile: http://www.eraarch.ca/project/summerhill-house/