ARIDO Award: Trailside Presentation Centre

Located in the beautiful Town of Oakville, Distrikt Trailside was designed to create an elevated lifestyle imbued with fine dining, world-class shopping, lush surroundings and luxury living. To provide a subtle nod to history, Figure3 looked to European boutique hotels, the Victorian era, and brands like Ted Baker who have mastered the art of taking inspiration from the old and modernizing it for a beautiful, timeless piece of work.

Interior Designer: Dominic DeFreitas, ARIDO
Design Firm: Figure3
Design Team: Nadine Burdak, ARIDO; Megan Hayward, Intern, ARIDO

Photographer: Steve Tsai Photography

Elegant yet inviting, the space is a stylish yet relaxed environment, using a fusion of traditional design elements customary to Oakville homes. As the Distrikt Trailside community is a departure from traditional Oakville living, these chic, urban, and fashion-forward design elements help highlight the exclusive, downtown feel of the development, while respecting the timeless, upscale luxury that Oakville is known for.

As guests enter the presentation centre they are immediately immersed in the condo’s elegant and comforting lobby space. From the wall coverings to the furniture, duplicating these elements allows visitors to experience how it will feel to call Distrikt Trailside home. 

Lounge seating and above it is a wall of mirrors with reflection of the entire presentation centre making the space look larger

Just beyond the entry, the speakeasy inspired lounge and bar area unfolds, creating a relaxed, hospitality environment; an ideal solution to appeal to this target demographic and set the mood for a positive sales experience. The long, narrow room was a design challenge, but the installation of a millwork archway between the entry hall and the lounge divides the room into different sections, creating balance within the space.

A working model of the condo’s personal AI assistant is prominently featured beyond the lounge. Housing various elements of the digital application, visitors can interact with the unique interface and experience the exclusive benefits of the AI assistant.

A detail of the model kitchen design in dark and light contrasting color scheme and statement light pendants above the island
A working model of the condo’s personal AI assistant is prominently featured beyond the lounge

The archway and styled bookcases provide a dramatic threshold between the entrance vestibule and lounge area. This area also features an expansive marble topped bar, as well as tables, chairs, and casual bench seating. Spatially, there is an easy, intuitive transition as guests navigate through the presentation centre and the continuity of finishes helps to create a cohesive environment. The casual bar sets the scene for a low-pressure, sales environment.

Luxurious yet relaxing atmoshphere is created with this large format floral wall paper in dark tones along with the wooden built in library and mood lighting

As guests pass through the lounge towards the back portion of the space; the sales area unfolds to present the features and finishes, as well as a dedicated sales space. 

The bold finishes continue here with more gold faceted tables and black and white marble that add to the sophistication and timelessness of the setting. In carrying the finishing materials through each section of the presentation space, an intuitive path unfolds between each zone, creating continuity and connectivity.

In order to appeal to the upscale buyer, the design team took inspiration from British fashion house Ted Baker. With a bold floral wall application and sophisticated gold and black finishes with dark marble and rich woods, the overall atmosphere is stylish, sophisticated, and reminiscent of an exclusive lounge. 

One of the most unique elements of this presentation centre can be found just inside the main display window where the building model sits atop a mechanically pivoting table with the ability to tilt at a 20-degree angle towards the front window. After hours, the angled table is perfectly situated to showcase the impressive table top model; prompting intrigue and driving interest in passers-by.

The 3D model is placed at the entrance to the stylish and elegant presentation centre, leading the visitor toward the lounge area where black, gold and wooden finishes dominate for a luxurious effect

The presentation centre was fully accessible despite its narrow layout, to ensure that the experience felt equitable to all visitors. Seating considerations and various table heights were also installed to create options for those with mobility specifications.

In partnership with Decanthropy, a leading Toronto-based inclusive design consultancy, Figure3 continues to develop an effective governance model to help prioritize and measure positive and equitable transformation of the places and environments we create. Figure3 is committed to supporting diversity, equity and inclusion; reflected in the project team for Distrikt Trailside’s presentation centre.

A vignette of the white island counter top and golden base with elegant gold and black bar stools. Above are hanging round pendant lights

The materials palette of the space is another example of understated elegance. As guests enter the space they are greeted with natural elements like wood, metal and marble and a large floral pattern wall treatment that captures the surrounding natural beauty in a visually bold way; introducing a biophilic atmosphere and overall sense of wellness within the presentation centre.  

Throughout the lounge, globe-like fixtures create a soft cascade of light, while mirrored wall treatments allow the light to bounce and reflect within the space. The energy continues through in the veining of the marble, and the grain of the woods that help to emphasize a wellness inspired atmosphere filled with life and movement.

As a result, 60% of available units sold within the first month of the sales office opening, and 75% sold (229 of 305 available units) in less than two months, the best-ever sales pace for this developer.

ARIDO Award: SQ2

SQ2 is the second tower in the first phase of a master planned revitalization of the Alexandra Park public housing complex by our developer client, in partnership with The Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC). Located in Toronto’s bustling, culturally rich and diverse Queen Street West and Spadina Avenue neighbourhood, this 14-storey condominium expresses a stylish and contemporary retail boutique aesthetic. Inspired by the exterior façade’s ‘cubist’ appearance, and an overall minimalist approach, we employed geometric design elements in the lobby entry and lounge.

Interior Designer: Kelly Cray, ARIDO; Neil Jonsohn, ARIDO; Margaret Stagg, ARIDO
Design Firm: U31
Design Team: Christina Yoo, ARIDO
Photographer: Jac Jacobson

To achieve an upscale aesthetic and add a touch of drama in the lobby space, we layered multiple marble slabs in a polished finish on feature walls and elevator corridors, with black panels to add visual interest and movement. Large format porcelain floor tile is used throughout most areas exuding a sense of luxury, while also being durable and long-lasting. 

Elevator lobby walls are covered n marble and black panels to add interest

Geometric sensibility carried from the building’s exterior into the lobby interior is expressed in the faceted concierge desk, columns, and the ceiling’s origami- like design, offering residents and visitors a dynamic and exciting welcome. The lobby design accentuates the outdoor courtyard at the opposite end of the entrance, encouraging residents and visitors to step outside during warmer months to enjoy the peaceful landscaped oasis. 

Geometric origami-like black columns, and ceiling details and the faceted security desk in the lobby

Our client requested that we incorporate as much natural light as possible in the lobby area. As such, we designed a lobby with entrances and large floor to ceiling windows at each end, and access to the outdoor landscaped courtyard. This courtyard was strategically positioned to animate one’s visual experience when entering the lobby or sitting in front of the fireplace. To expand the lobby experience, we incorporated a 20’ linear double-sided glass enclosed ‘vapour’ fireplace that provides glimpses into the adjacent social lounge, making the spaces seem more open and more connected to each other.

A big statement geometric light fixture hangs above the lounge area in the social lounge room with ample seating throughout

The magnificent social lounge showcases a large statement light fixture, ample lounge seating, and luxurious finishes was positioned to benefit from the natural light coming through the glass door leading to the courtyard. To round out the amenities on this level, we designed a private dining room in a modern monochromatic aesthetic off the social lounge with a separate entrance. This provides the flexibility for residents to enjoy the social amenities together in larger gatherings, or to reserve the spaces for more intimate, private functions. Lighting selections echo the boutique retail experience we envisioned for this property, with the dining room chandelier mimicking the geometric thread from the exterior façade.

Private dining room on main floor in black and white and geometric chandelier

The amenity plan was designed to appeal to a wide demographic. Apart from the ground level social areas it also includes fitness and wellness amenities on ground and P1 levels. Residents can enjoy a spa with sauna, steam rooms and change rooms in a contemporary contrasting black and white colour scheme with wooden accents. 

The fitness area is designed as a professional gym, with zones tailored for cardio, strength training and yoga.The combination of teak and white cedar mingling with light toned marble and quartz surfaces, creates a tranquil environment, as does the botanical wall covered feature walls in the changeroom. All these spaces are  characterized by elegant curves, contemporary streamlined forms, and timeless material selections that bring in a sense of luxury and will surely be enjoyed by the residents and their guests for years to come.

Black and white contrasting tile in the changeroom with green leaf accent wall at the vanity

SQ2 is a home to many satisfied residents who truly appreciate the enhanced amenity offerings, such as the spa, which is unusual  for a mid-rise downtown Toronto condominium. The property continues to attract diverse local residents who could thrive in a modernized, stylish, and highly functional residence. According to the client, the success of the first phase, which included the completion of SQ2, contributed to being awarded another partnership with the TCHC for phase two of the master-planned community, and creating  a well-connected, racially diverse, mixed-income community in Alexandra Park.

ARIDO Award: 99 Gerrard

The design challenge at this outdated yet exceptionally located building with a mash-up of parking, retail, and an anonymous office tower was to turn it into the most sought-after rental address in downtown Toronto.

Our design team was tasked with seamlessly integrating the existing 1970’s building with a brand new residential tower. Located in this prime downtown location, 99 Gerrard now offers the usual amenities that one might expect from a mixed-use building like a spa,  games room, and a wonderful rooftop oasis with the emphasis on a luxurious, modern aesthetic.

Interior Designers: Julie Sumairski, ARIDO; Caroline Robbie, ARIDO
Design Firm: BDP Quadrangle 
Design Team: Lindsay Brown, ARIDO; Kim Phan, Intern, ARIDO
Photographer: Adrien Williams

Double height feature fire place in the lobby lounge area with the cafe visible behind it
Vignette of the cafe separated from the lobby by a metal decorative screen

This design allows the residents of 99 Gerrard to enjoy the luxuries usually found in high end condominium buildings. These features help attract a new demographic of renters, elevating the profile of the property. Each area was designed with its own distinct characteristics to create the feel of a micro urban environment. Simple, elegant and high-quality materials were selected for aesthetics and durability while respecting the identities of each tower.

A double height fireplace visually grounds the lobby waiting area and centres the lobby and café in the main level space. Custom metal screens are used to add visual interest while separating the café and main elevator bank. Small touches like pet wash stations in the back entrance to the building and the quiet second floor co-working lounge overlooking the glazed double height lobby add to the luxury and convenience of this property.

Towards the top floors, amenities shift to health and wellness with a 180-degree view pool overlooking the bright lights of the big city. The senses are engaged through the juxtaposition of the gritty urban view and the smell of the warm, natural cedar clad room.

Pool on the top floor overlooking the Toronto skyline
Lounge space on the top floor in a warm, sophisticated colour scheme and comfortable contemporary furniture overlooking the skyline through floor to ceiling windows all around

Entertainment is the name of the game on the 32nd floor with a full height games room in a casual hip aesthetic using colourful accents, industrial light fixtures and a fun comic book graphic mural on the walls. This top floor takes advantage of the long building footprint by utilizing full height windows along the indoor corridor overlooking the rooftop terrace.

Interior spaces on this floor include social amenities such as the games room, a theatre, and sprawling dining and lounge space which can be segmented into two separate event spaces by a large sliding door clad in charred black wood. These comfortable lounge and dining spaces connect directly with the outdoor terrace and BBQ area.

Fun games room on the top floor in a colourful hip coloiurscheme with fun graphic comic book details on the wall, pool table and areas for socializing.

In the rooftop outdoor space a luxurious boardwalk conceals concrete plinths below that supply the firepit and BBQ stations. An anchoring shade pavilion invites visitors to the end of the boardwalk where they can sit back enjoy stunning skyline views from cozy loungers and. A dog park and theatre screen make this space the resident’s urban park in the sky.

Each rooftop zone compliments one another while offering residents and guests the opportunity for dining, relaxing, and socializing. There are spaces for quiet escapes, a secure area to take out pets, and even a large integrated movie screen to host screenings or building events.

Outdoor rooftop area with lounge chairs

Our design took highly coveted yet outdated real estate in the heart of busy Toronto and created an aesthetically beautiful, modern, and functional space that utilizes every square inch of space given to it to create a masterpiece. We measure success in the raised eyebrows and smiles of those who pass by, the residents who live in and enjoy the space everyday, and the future developments who will take inspiration from us.

ARIDO Award: York Condos

York Condos is a three-building complex in Markham, Ontario. The buildings line an above-grade parking structure crowned by an extensive landscape and amenity terrace providing a shared community space. Connections to the Rouge Valley protected green space north of the site are a key component of the development and the interiors were designed to reflect this, focusing on nature and natural rock formations. 

Interior Designers: Andrea Hall, ARIDO, Caroline Robbie, ARIDO
Design Firm: BDP Quadrangle
Design Team: Victoria McGlade, ARIDO
Photographer: Adrien Williams

Main lobby featuring a white backlit geometric ceiling detail against the black ceiling above the security desk that is tucked under it
Main lobby featuring a white backlit geometric ceiling detail against the black ceiling, and furniture in accent colours of red and teal

Site access was a challenge as there is 200 feet distance from the building entrance to the elevators, so it was important to establish a sense of progression and arrival. The long lobby space provides a solution to this desire by adding visual interest with a striking crystalline sculptural element. The faceted structure brings visitors and residents from the entrance to tucked away amenities such as mail boxes, video game rooms, and washrooms, toward the building elevators and community café and lounge. 

Party room dining table with 3 golden light fixtures above and the modern black bar behind. The backdrop behind the bar is a contrasting stone wall
A view of the party room lounge area with mid century style seating with the stone wall as the backdrop and beautiful wooden slat ceiling above

This faceted structure is echoed on the east and west walls of the 5th floor amenity bar and lounge. This feature created a cozy and soft space to relax in and pays homage to life at a cabin. Residents can use these spaces for small intimate gatherings, or open them up to a large party room connecting all three spaces, while still allowing for intimate moments. A wood slat ceiling connects all three spaces and draws your eye outward to the views over the amenity pool and lounge directly to Rouge Valley itself. The colour scheme for all the amenity spaces complements the whites, blacks and coppers used in the architecture with added pops of jewel tones throughout.

Embracing that community and demographic goal we endeavored to provide a space for everyone to enjoy and grow into, lots of lively bright open spaces complimented by smaller, secluded spaces for quiet or intimate use. 

A view of the party room's large central seating area with leather sofas an ottomans, beautiful floor to ceiling windows making this space airy and bright

Equity of space was important in the initial planning including for family sized townhomes, large and small units and many different forms of community space (library, café, game room, party room, cardio, weights, yoga, outdoor pool, outdoor tennis/badminton).

The three towers were designed around an above grade parking, taking advantage of the best views for residents and creating the most expensive rooftop amenity within Downtown Markham. Consisting of a lap pool, social space with BBQs, log cabin, tennis/badminton court, direct connection to indoor amenities, and view north to Rouge Valley.  

All outdoor amenities offer universal access, including the lap pool and elevated cabin, providing comfort and fun to those who may have mobility issues. The colours used throughout offer enough contrast for those with people who are visually impaired.

Another common area with encased in floor to ceiling windows and stunning wooden built in shelving unit on the wall with magenta accents to show built in seating

York Condos is currently being evaluated for LEED Silver. The products specified for both architecture and interiors were made in accordance with the exacting requirements of the LEED programme. Energy Star and low flow appliances and plumbing fixtures are used throughout the building, contributing to both energy efficiency and water use efficiency. Custom made LED wall sconces are used in the corridors, further impacting energy efficiency. These custom light fixtures were designed to enhance human comfort by allowing for increased ceiling heights and ensuring that lighting levels can be controlled for optimal Circadian rhythm health.

Products were also selected to represent nature throughout the space. The effects of nature on human health and wellbeing are well documented and using natural materials and a design inspired by nature resulting in an environment that calms the nervous system.

View of the long and narrow common outdoor area at night with lit up pool and pop of colour in red patio seating

Markham has been in a state of steady growth for many years now and has now developed to a level where it is no longer seen as just a sleepy suburb of Toronto but a place with its own identity and spirit. The York Condos development is one major step towards that goal. 

These three towers, each with a distinct look and feel will serve as a staple of the budding downtown Markham area. Success means creating something that will last for generations and set the standard for what a “suburban” downtown can be.

ARIDO Award: 411 Church (Amenity Spaces)

411 Church is the first residential condo building signaling a major shift taking place on Church St. in downtown Toronto. Figure3 captured the unique dynamism and modern luxury desired by the movers, shakers, and collaborators seeking to call this community-based building home.

Interior Designer: Dominic DeFreitas, ARIDO
Design Firm: Figure3

Photographer: Steve Tsai Photography

An overall view of the party room lounge area with purple accent chairs and booths in the foreground and the kitchen area peeking through in the background

The design strategy for the amenity spaces focused on collaborative energy, shared workspaces, and a connection to the urban outdoors. This inviting atmosphere features intricate finishing details and expansive window vistas where natural light floods the spaces and creates a sense of calm and wellness in this otherwise bustling area of the city.  

As the condo is located in the city’s most prominent LGBTQ+ neighbourhood and university communities, it was very important to reflect and integrate the diversity of the area. The building itself, with well–articulated, tree-lined sidewalks with benches and canopy protection, creates a safe and animated public realm with a strong sense of comfort and place. The stylish features and finishes throughout the lobby: natural stone, wood, and metals are carried through the amenity spaces for a cohesive look. 

Party room area with bar tables and stools in a long and narrow passage in a predominantly black and white colour scheme. This is a perfect co working space

411 Church features an expansive co-working amenity space that caters perfectly to the modern professional and offers residents optimal workspaces with private meeting zones, semi-private booths, a boardroom and a café lounge, all with easy access to an outdoor terrace, and flooded with natural light.

As residents enter the comprehensive space, an open plan business hub unfolds into a stylish lounge complete with plush seating, vegan leather tufted banquettes and sleek booths. Set within the lounge, guests can serve up a beverage in the café inspired entertainment kitchen, featuring an impressive tiled feature wall with open shelving and metallic pendant lights and modern wire frame barstools. Furniture placement creates conversation groupings and seating options provide solutions for casual conversations, private meetings, and video calls – all within the main room. 

Booths for privacy in the party room

Structural support columns were wrapped with plush seating, and create unique conversation groupings. Open shelving was also constructed into the columns, providing opportunities to showcase art. The intricate tile floor inlays, light walls, and sophisticated black cabinetry and gold accents pair seamlessly with the vegan leather and velvet textures in the seating to bring an edgy yet sophisticated feel to the lounge area. 

A conference room inside the party room area with the chairs as yellow accents against the whites, blacks and grays

Sitting parallel to the stairway corridor, a series of private meeting rooms take advantage of a long narrow space, while open table seating is placed opposite a full wall of windows overlooking the terrace – a truly inspiring view. Even before the 2020 pandemic, residents could work remotely by using the enclosed boardroom or smaller breakout rooms, fully equipped with the latest AV connectivity.

Understanding the importance of health and wellness to the target demographic, the fitness facility spans 7,000 square feet, including cross-fit training, yoga and spinning room, unisex steam room, with connection to the outdoor green space for lounging and beautiful views of downtown Toronto. 

gym overlooking the outdoor garden
Indoor gym with full equipment

At the centre of the long space, is an indoor turf track, perfect for CrossFit training. Sleek LED lighting helps to improve energy efficiency, and produces less heat. An expansive, fully equipped fitness centre, features modern equipment, an extensive CrossFit zone, and stunning views of downtown.

Including a café and access to the outdoor terrace within the business hub allows residents to break and refocus without leaving the space. The overall design of the amenity spaces worked to highlight the incredible views and allow natural light to flow in. Throughout the amenity spaces, Figure3 considered accessibility to ensure an equitable experience for all residents.