Copenhagen-based 3XN has been named as the designers of a new condominium building on Toronto’s Inner Harbor. The new condos will be part of the $1.1 billion Waterfront Toronto masterplan development. The 13 acre masterplan is focused on redeveloping Queens Quay East in the East Bayfront neighborhood. This is the third housing project developed by international developer Hines in the Waterfront Toronto masterplan. Their first project, Aqualina and Aquavista, were both designed by Miami-based Arquitectonica. For the 3XN project, Hines is teaming up with Toronto-based real estate experts Tridal. Toronto-based Kirkor Architects will serve as the architect of record. The 3XN design is characterized by two stepped forms; the project's L-shape maximizes views of the river and downtown while admitting ample natural light to the ground-level public areas. The two wings of the project are connected by a seventh floor amenity space. 3XN architect Kim Herforth Nielsen described the design in a press release: "The design puts people first, paying particular attention to the quality of views, space and lifestyle. The development will command extraordinary views of the water, neighboring parks, and the city skyline." He also added, "While the stepped L-shape form provides a sculptural quality to the building, the large garden terraces, are the hallmark of the design." The Danish firm was selected after a competition. Hines Bayside Program Director Michael Gross explained the selection of 3XN. “It was quickly clear to the selection committee that 3XN had not only presented a compelling design, but also one that understood the site's importance to the City and the revitalization of the waterfront; the singular opportunities created by its location along the water's edge; and the market demands of Toronto's sophisticated condominium consumer." This will be 3XN’s first North American project.
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Construction has begun on the latest addition to Milwaukee's lakefront skyline, a sleek curving tower from Pickard Chilton. Gilbane Building Co. and C.G. Schmidt broke ground in August on the new 32-story headquarters of insurance giant Northwestern Mutual. A 1.1 million square foot complex spread over several buildings and a landscaped courtyard, the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons connects the firm's historic headquarters building to a new tower that will be among Milwaukee's tallest. The whole project, which is developed by Hines, is expected to wrap up in 2017. The new construction work follows demolition of a small existing building on East Mason Street. Northwestern Mutual says the new space will accommodate 1,900 more jobs within the firm. “This project will have a positive impact on both the Milwaukee skyline and the community, and we’re excited to see that now begin to take shape,” said Jon Pickard, principal of Pickard Chilton, in a statement. The design calls out to Santiago Calatrava's celebrated art museum across the street and, according to firm leadership, aims for "sophistication." By the time it's built, the new downtown campus could be just one of many substantial renovations to Milwaukee's Lake Michigan shoreline. Despite controversy surrounding its design and architectural authorship, expansions to the art museum are underway, as are plans to build tall downtown, which have stirred debate over lakefront park space in the city.
The biggest stir caused by the Kennedy's newest proposal for developing Wolf Point was not obscuring the Merchandise Mart views or initial reactions to the renderings or the stuffing of three very tall towers on one impossibly small piece of land. It was more like, “There’s a living Kennedy with a stake in Chicago real estate?” We all know the family sold the Mart years ago. Fewer of us knew they held on to that little sandbar that sits in front of the the Sun-Times building. Ready to boost the family fortune, the Kennedys with Hines, Cesar Pelli, and bKL plan to stuff three towers onto the site. Is this the architectural equivalent of a 10 lb. bag of sugar in a 5 lb. sack? Maybe, but development of that scale is also kind of exciting. And that leads to the biggest question. Can this economy support a residential and commercial project of this size? Well, Jean—that’s the last sibling standing, right, so the land must be hers—get out your good-faith checkbook: Google is coming. They’ve leased the top floors of the Mart, which will serve as the new headquarters of Motorola, which Google has acquired. That means thousands of high paying fancy Google jobs just across the street. With that news, Wolf Point is a done deal, no?