Kings Club: Bringing mixed-use luxury design to Toronto’s Liberty Village
First Capital Realty
First Capital Realty
Phase 2 of First Capital Realty’s King Liberty Rail land development was planned as a true mixed-use luxury design project. Incorporating over 200,000 square feet of retail with 506 rental units, office space, and a daycare, the project capitalizes on the synergies between differing uses in Toronto’s Liberty Village neighbourhood. Having successfully completed previous mixed-use developments with the same client – including the neighbouring Phase 1, Fuzion Condominiums – we were selected to continue as the Architect of Record for the residential scope and Design Architect for the retail. The goal was to ensure the right flow between retail and residential while seamlessly integrating the building with its surroundings, creating a neighbourhood of its own and sense of place.
Kings Club is an experiment in incorporating large format retail in the dense urban setting of Liberty Village and the site made this particularly challenging. Situated on a triangular, sloped site between King Street West to the south and a railway line to the north, connecting retail at street grade was difficult, while the rail corridor limited the prospect of having active frontage on three sides. The site also required numerous loading facilities to accommodate large format retailers, something difficult to achieve within an urban context. First Capital also wanted to ensure connectivity to the urban fabric of Liberty Village to capitalize on increasing levels of foot traffic and the existing feeling of the area.
To organize these demands within a challenging site, our team worked tirelessly to find common ground with a variety of stakeholders. We worked with the client, leasing and municipal partners, as well as championing the vision of the design architect for the residential components. Aligning all stakeholder interests on our demanding schedule required consistent collaboration. We presented various design options through 3D visioning and modeling, and developed numerous feasibility studies. This allowed all interested parties to envision and provide feedback on each phase of the design.
We created a dynamic link connecting the retail and residential components to the neighbourhood by focusing on the human experience with both the constructed and natural landscape. The clearly articulated building massing mitigates the overall size of the project while still ensuring its ample presence as a mixed-use destination. Further drawing people in, the retail buildings’ setbacks allowed for the creation of connected outdoor spaces for both the retail and commercial development.
After all, we wanted to add more than just the density of 506 residential units, and more than just a range of retail options — we wanted to stimulate experiential diversity. We created places to meet and to be alone in the city, encouraging walking, cycling and meandering. By accommodating the loading below grade, it didn’t interfere with the active streetscape we created. At street level, we also incorporated an urban scale art piece, celebrating the diverse community of the neighborhood.
The project has created a destination for the people of Liberty Village and provides much needed residential, retail and amenity space for the neighbourhood. The successful integration of residential rental units with big box retail tenants has created multiple benefits. For the client, this has generated higher rental income afforded by the presence of larger-format retailers. Meanwhile, residents shop closer to home and enjoy the connected outdoor amenities created by the setbacks of the retail buildings.
We have over 35 years of experience designing residential mixed-use projects across Canada and internationally. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you with your residential mixed-use project today.
We’d love to get to know you
Get in touch
Get in touch