Queen Richmond Centre West inspiring or eyesore?
One of Toronto's newest commercial developments happens to be slated for one of its busiest (and on weekends — drunkest) junctions, right at the corner of Peter and Richmond streets in the heart of the Entertainment District. The Queen Richmond Centre West (QRC) will be mixed-use office and retail space, rising a total of 17 storeys with a heritage structure facade at its base. Developed by Allied Properties REIT, QRC will, essentially, be a new proposed LEED Gold structure set atop an old warehouse. Awesome? Or a little bit too ROM Crystal take two? First, more on the structure:
Retail on the ground floor, fronting onto Queen and Peter streets. The ground floor will also host QRC's 70' high atrium with room for six high-speed elevators. Above will be mostly office space with floor plates totaling 23,604 square feet, designed to accommodate varied tenant layouts. Plus, a sky lobby for those hard-earned coffee breaks. Intended occupancy is the end of 2014.
Obviously, the big feature of this development is the repurposing of the four-storey warehouse base. Or, in marketing speak, "the juxtaposition of old and new." &Co Architects has designed the new structure to sit somewhat suspended over the old; a cantilever design that juts out slightly to one side. I believe it's the sort of thing that makes engineers squeal.
All those fresh new homeowners need to find a way to keep up with the mortgage, right? The area is certainly ripe with potential office workers, many of whom will be more than happy to cross the street from their new condo to their new workplace. And you pretty much can't go wrong with retail on Queen (and to a lesser extent, Peter). The heritage base certainly works with the facade of neighbouring structures, but I'm not so sure about the starkly modern addition.
Inspired, or eyesore?