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Gläs Condominium

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Niche Development



Harhay Construction Management


A stringent Modernism drives the design of Gläs, a 16-storey condominium near the intersection of King Street West and Spadina Avenue. Located on a constrained site in the city’s Fashion District, Gläs fully occupies its downtown street corner location with an austere palette of black brick, clear and spandrel glass set in charcoal-coloured mullions, and stainless steel detailing. The first nine floors are built out to the edge of the site, which is bounded by narrow city streets on three sides; the building steps back at the tenth floor, deferring to the rooflines of neighbouring warehouse buildings. Gläs is infused with an elegant, tough-minded urbanism, with brushed steel entrance doors that open directly onto the sidewalk, exposed concrete structural elements throughout the building, and floor-to-ceiling windows that flood each unit with natural light. Gläs houses 163 units in a variety of configurations including flats, lofts, and double-height penthouses. Interior ceiling heights range from 9’ to 20’. Above grade, units let out onto large terraces or balconies along the west and south sides of the building. On the north face of the building, two-storey "loft houses” accessed from the street extend along the length of the building. Access to three levels of underground is via a private vehicular elevator, located off the laneway on the south side of the building.


Very sexy. But I wouldn't want to be the condo board paying the electricity and gas bills on this baby.

It's so elegantly simple! And contrasts so well with its surrounding buildings - red-bricked podium on one side, and yellow bricks/cladding on the other. It appears they also controlled the kind of shades residents can use, for Glas has a "disciplined" look about it. I wonder what finishes the building that is under construction will have (there's only a pit there now), hopefully not grey/black but something warm. If that's the case, then Glas will look like the anchoring neutral element in a placement of multiple colours - a good macro/micro approach. Perhaps the architects were more forward-thinking than we'd realized(!)

Briefing meeting with Gläs architect firm:

Gläs: Okay everybody with imagination - outta the room!
Architects with imagination: Okay see ya.
Gläs: Now let's make some gärbage! Make the street level cold and unwelcoming.
Architects without imagination: You got it.
Gläs: Now make the lobby really awful: put some silhouette cutouts from washroom door signs in there as seats and adapt an Ikea striped duvet cover into a wall of pointlessness.
Architects without imagination: No problem.

from the street: nothing. this building makes our city less walkable: no charm/interest/variance/greenery/care for the pedestrian.

Gorgeous building. Subtle. Transparent. Urban. Beautifully detailed. Wonderfully executed. Looking down Oxley St from Spadina, the combination of glass and stainless steel makes it almost disappear. Wonderful infill.

Its rectangular glass and metal look evokes some of the best of the Modernist aesthetic which still looks great today. It's brash and industrial, yet quite polished and comfortable at the same time.

The vehicular elevator is nice way of handling tight space constraints.

This is horrendous.
Will look cheap in two weeks.

Glas ? more like Crass.

too bad a building named Glas, which conotes light and airiness, is going to be hemmed in by buildings to its north, east and south

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