Smart House Condominiums

Project: Smart House Condominiums, 219 Queen Street West

Client: Urban Capital, Malibu Investments

Architect: architectsAlliance,

Status: Completion 2017

Involvement: Design Development, Contract Documents, Contract Administration,

Smart House re-imagines how people want to live in compact, downtown housing. Smart House sits on the south side of Queen Street West, immediately west of Simcoe Street, completing a row of three-storey Victorian row buildings programmed with retail uses at grade, and commercial and residential uses above. The built form of Smart House comprises a four-storey podium that continues the roof-line of the Victorian storefronts and which is programmed, like its neighbours, with retail and commercial uses.

Suspended above the podium, and set back from the street, the tower reads as a separate structure. The ‘pinwheel’ shape of its floor plates breaks down the mass of the tower, and a pattern of colour-blocked balcony railings further articulates the form. At 25 storeys overall, Smart House acts as a ‘bookend’ with the Canada Life building to the north, creating an eastern gateway into the Queen West village.

Smart House investigates new approaches to suite design, and high density living looking to European and Asian counterparts. To maximize efficiency, fold-down, fold-away components and high-end finishes compliment and contrast the large floor to ceiling glazing. Despite their compact size, kitchens and bathrooms are maintain a high degree of function through custom cabinets, fitouts, and integrated mechanical systems.

The shared residential/commercial lobby is tucked under east side of site, creating a wider street front condition for retail, in keeping with the rest of the street. Service and loading access is tucked away on the lane-way to the south of the site.