We first mentioned this Chinatown building three years ago. It is a 9-storey, 26 unit residential building with retail and parking at grade. The lot it’s built on is only 25 feet wide, but the building sits next to a lane, looking onto the back of a parkade.
The design, by Birmingham and Wood with ASIR Architects has a grey and yellow palette (a refreshing change from the ubiquitous Chinatown red) and a contemporary take on the Chinatown balcony/screen idea.
Construction seemed at times to be painfully slow – the construction method is unusual (and we think it’s the first time it’s been used in the city). A series of hollow metal frames, a storey high, form the party wall with the building to the east. Reinforcing rods run vertically through the frames, and concrete was pumped into the frame, creating a solid flank wall. The outer wall was built with similar frames but those didn’t have the concrete liner.
The original design showed some greater variation on the flank wall, with yellow window surrounds. Instead there are random yellow and cream vertical panels.
Now that the building is occupied the owners don’t necessarily keep the yellow shutters closed all the time, so the appearance of the Georgia façade looks much closer to the model.