Architects and building designers beware, renowned architecture critic and veteran journalist Christopher Hume is reviving his condo critiques, exclusively for TorontoStoreys.com.
Developer: Concert Development
Architect: Page + Steele/ IBI Group
Address: 88 Scott St.
There’s no such thing as an invisible 53-storey condo tower. But the relatively new residential structure at 88 Scott St. comes as close as any in Toronto to being exactly that.
Sitting atop an elegant 1951 neo-classical office building, the 2017 addition occupies space that can’t be seen from the sidewalk unless you’re looking up, way up. From street level, it is a modest mid-century commercial heap that one can’t help but like.
In this very dense part of the downtown core, the landscape is divided into what you see at eye level and what’s above. As a development like this reminds us; the two don’t necessarily have any connection. In a vertical city, that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Indeed, it’s to be expected.
The tower itself is everything you’d expect. With its glass façade, setbacks and horizontal cut-out sections, it feels very much of its time, even trendy. The architects’ attempts to make their creation visually interesting feel self-conscious. This is definitely a case where less would have been more. But then, the hard part is always knowing where to stop. These exteriors are just a bit busier than is good for them. The contrast with the restraint of the building on which they rest couldn’t be more stark – or ironic.