Firm wins Toronto design award for Six Points' junction transformation

News Sep 19, 2017 by Tamara Shephard Etobicoke Guardian

A Toronto urban and landscape design firm is designing a public realm in the Six Points Interchange reconfiguration that includes pedestrians and cyclists, parks and open space and improves access to future development.

SvN Architects + Planners’ urban and landscape design work on the city’s $40-million transformation of the highwaylike “spaghetti junction” where Kipling Avenue and Bloor and Dundas streets west in Etobicoke converge won an award of merit Sept. 13 at the 2017 Toronto Urban Design awards.

The city is transforming the area into three, at-grade intersections with a network of new streets.

Other winners include the redesigned Broadview Hotel, the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre, and Queens Quay Boulevard in the central waterfront.

Shonda Wang, urban design lead with SvN and adviser on the project, said the award recognizes the project is more than an infrastructure project.

“Everybody saw this as an opportunity to expand the public realm and set the stage for new civic and multi-use buildings, community buildings and open space and connections with the broader community better connecting the neighbourhood and amenities,” Wang said in an interview.

The project’s focus — to “rebalance the space,” Wang said.

That means transforming the public realm to address the needs of pedestrians and cyclists, not only motorists, with public parks and open spaces. It will improve connections to existing neighbourhoods and amenities, and improve access to the future development of the former Westwood Theatre Lands.

Features of the redesign include: eight- to 11-metre continuous, accessible sidewalks; a total of 2.3 kilometres of completely raised, separate bike lanes; more than 500 new trees, some planted double to provide pedestrians a cooling canopy, and thousands of native plantings.

A new stormwater management plan is also planned, as are soil trenches dug below grade to capture, filter, irrigate and store water for trees and plantings.

Currently, the Westwood Theatre Lands, seen by the city as a future site for the Etobicoke Civic Centre, a YMCA and other mixed-use amenities, is land locked by the existing complicated convergence of Kipling, Bloor and Dundas.

In May, Build Toronto named Adamson Associates Architects, Henning Larsen Architects and PMA Landscape Architects as the winning design team from the international Etobicoke Civic Centre Design Competition.

The future 500,000-square-foot Etobicoke Civic Centre as part of a six-hectare Westwood Theatre Lands redevelopment.

The awards jury commended the project on its “exemplary pedestrian environment” in an area previously “entirely vehicle-oriented” and said it sets a precedent.

“It should be seen as a precedent-setting plan that reclaims city streets from being treated as highways and reimagines them as functional and engaging public realm amenities.”

The new Six Points Interchange will create better connections to Kipling Subway Station, which is being expanded into a regional transit hub in the next two years.

The awards jury seeks to identify projects that are “unequivocally public,” the city said on the awards website, “that engage people through their presence in or proximity to the public realm, adding noticeably to the civic experience.”

Construction began in March and is expected to be completed in 2020.




Firm wins Toronto design award for Six Points' junction transformation

Pedestrians, cyclists included in expanded public realm design

News Sep 19, 2017 by Tamara Shephard Etobicoke Guardian

A Toronto urban and landscape design firm is designing a public realm in the Six Points Interchange reconfiguration that includes pedestrians and cyclists, parks and open space and improves access to future development.

SvN Architects + Planners’ urban and landscape design work on the city’s $40-million transformation of the highwaylike “spaghetti junction” where Kipling Avenue and Bloor and Dundas streets west in Etobicoke converge won an award of merit Sept. 13 at the 2017 Toronto Urban Design awards.

The city is transforming the area into three, at-grade intersections with a network of new streets.

Other winners include the redesigned Broadview Hotel, the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre, and Queens Quay Boulevard in the central waterfront.

Shonda Wang, urban design lead with SvN and adviser on the project, said the award recognizes the project is more than an infrastructure project.

“Everybody saw this as an opportunity to expand the public realm and set the stage for new civic and multi-use buildings, community buildings and open space and connections with the broader community better connecting the neighbourhood and amenities,” Wang said in an interview.

The project’s focus — to “rebalance the space,” Wang said.

That means transforming the public realm to address the needs of pedestrians and cyclists, not only motorists, with public parks and open spaces. It will improve connections to existing neighbourhoods and amenities, and improve access to the future development of the former Westwood Theatre Lands.

Features of the redesign include: eight- to 11-metre continuous, accessible sidewalks; a total of 2.3 kilometres of completely raised, separate bike lanes; more than 500 new trees, some planted double to provide pedestrians a cooling canopy, and thousands of native plantings.

A new stormwater management plan is also planned, as are soil trenches dug below grade to capture, filter, irrigate and store water for trees and plantings.

Currently, the Westwood Theatre Lands, seen by the city as a future site for the Etobicoke Civic Centre, a YMCA and other mixed-use amenities, is land locked by the existing complicated convergence of Kipling, Bloor and Dundas.

In May, Build Toronto named Adamson Associates Architects, Henning Larsen Architects and PMA Landscape Architects as the winning design team from the international Etobicoke Civic Centre Design Competition.

The future 500,000-square-foot Etobicoke Civic Centre as part of a six-hectare Westwood Theatre Lands redevelopment.

The awards jury commended the project on its “exemplary pedestrian environment” in an area previously “entirely vehicle-oriented” and said it sets a precedent.

“It should be seen as a precedent-setting plan that reclaims city streets from being treated as highways and reimagines them as functional and engaging public realm amenities.”

The new Six Points Interchange will create better connections to Kipling Subway Station, which is being expanded into a regional transit hub in the next two years.

The awards jury seeks to identify projects that are “unequivocally public,” the city said on the awards website, “that engage people through their presence in or proximity to the public realm, adding noticeably to the civic experience.”

Construction began in March and is expected to be completed in 2020.




Firm wins Toronto design award for Six Points' junction transformation

Pedestrians, cyclists included in expanded public realm design

News Sep 19, 2017 by Tamara Shephard Etobicoke Guardian

A Toronto urban and landscape design firm is designing a public realm in the Six Points Interchange reconfiguration that includes pedestrians and cyclists, parks and open space and improves access to future development.

SvN Architects + Planners’ urban and landscape design work on the city’s $40-million transformation of the highwaylike “spaghetti junction” where Kipling Avenue and Bloor and Dundas streets west in Etobicoke converge won an award of merit Sept. 13 at the 2017 Toronto Urban Design awards.

The city is transforming the area into three, at-grade intersections with a network of new streets.

Other winners include the redesigned Broadview Hotel, the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre, and Queens Quay Boulevard in the central waterfront.

Shonda Wang, urban design lead with SvN and adviser on the project, said the award recognizes the project is more than an infrastructure project.

“Everybody saw this as an opportunity to expand the public realm and set the stage for new civic and multi-use buildings, community buildings and open space and connections with the broader community better connecting the neighbourhood and amenities,” Wang said in an interview.

The project’s focus — to “rebalance the space,” Wang said.

That means transforming the public realm to address the needs of pedestrians and cyclists, not only motorists, with public parks and open spaces. It will improve connections to existing neighbourhoods and amenities, and improve access to the future development of the former Westwood Theatre Lands.

Features of the redesign include: eight- to 11-metre continuous, accessible sidewalks; a total of 2.3 kilometres of completely raised, separate bike lanes; more than 500 new trees, some planted double to provide pedestrians a cooling canopy, and thousands of native plantings.

A new stormwater management plan is also planned, as are soil trenches dug below grade to capture, filter, irrigate and store water for trees and plantings.

Currently, the Westwood Theatre Lands, seen by the city as a future site for the Etobicoke Civic Centre, a YMCA and other mixed-use amenities, is land locked by the existing complicated convergence of Kipling, Bloor and Dundas.

In May, Build Toronto named Adamson Associates Architects, Henning Larsen Architects and PMA Landscape Architects as the winning design team from the international Etobicoke Civic Centre Design Competition.

The future 500,000-square-foot Etobicoke Civic Centre as part of a six-hectare Westwood Theatre Lands redevelopment.

The awards jury commended the project on its “exemplary pedestrian environment” in an area previously “entirely vehicle-oriented” and said it sets a precedent.

“It should be seen as a precedent-setting plan that reclaims city streets from being treated as highways and reimagines them as functional and engaging public realm amenities.”

The new Six Points Interchange will create better connections to Kipling Subway Station, which is being expanded into a regional transit hub in the next two years.

The awards jury seeks to identify projects that are “unequivocally public,” the city said on the awards website, “that engage people through their presence in or proximity to the public realm, adding noticeably to the civic experience.”

Construction began in March and is expected to be completed in 2020.