The 11 Charlotte condominium building is embedded in a matrix of vestigial warehouse buildings and service laneways in Toronto’s King West entertainment district. The challenges of the compressed site are addressed with a striking composition of stepped and stacked boxes. The transparent double-height base, programmed with the residential lobby and a popular local restaurant, steps back from the street edge and south to meet the principal east-west laneway, animating the lane and creating a generous boulevard along Charlotte Street.
A five-storey shadowbox clad with alternating vertical bands of masonry and vision glass tops the base, and projects west toward the street. The slender (500 m2) tower steps east and south again, with a strong horizontal pattern of balconies on the north and south faces, and transparent east and west faces. The glazed rooftop pavilion marks a final shift to the east and glows red after dusk – a literal beacon on the downtown skyline.