February 27, 2014


On the Boards: SILO

This site in Toronto includes an existing group of silos that are a landmark on the waterfront both figuratively and literally. As a requirement of the master plan, the west facing elevations of the silos must remain in place. The brief for designing a mixed use and residential tower on the same site as the silos brought forth the conclusion that the design of the new structures should be integral with the silo structures, not independent, and provide additional function.

The iconic and vernacular monumentality of the silos and the utilitarian movement of conveyors used in grain elevators affected decisions about placement of program and the form of new structures, rationalizing an irrational set of existing structures to a logical combination of new uses. The result will be a new mixed-use building of over a half million square feet.

Existing silos on the east and in the core are removed down to their foundations. The remaining silos are sectioned, allowing the insertion of new structure and program that become integral with the silos. The repurposed silos are punched with perforations, allowing natural light to illuminate an inserted automated parking structure for over 300 vehicles and facilitate articulated views to the city from floors in the base of the building. The glass-enclosed base houses retail and commercial space, a contemporary museum, and a restaurant and lounge that take advantage of views into the parking cells and beyond as part spectacle. 

An amenity floor evokes the head house that existed historically above the silos. It provides lateral bracing for the residential tower and is a visual connector that integrates the other forms of the building. The tower, which will have over 300 residential units, elicits a relationship of the conveyor as a contemporary object. Its skin is punctuated by setbacks of sliding glass doors that function as implied balconies and further the visual language of the perforated silos.

Scheduled for completion in 2016, the developer is Castlepoint Realty Partners of Toronto.