Graziani + Corazza Architects

When its first phase is completed this fall, the 17-acre Metrogate master-plann­ed community in Toronto will raise the bar for sustainable living, according to its developer, Tridel. The neighbourhood development “pushes the principles of smart growth, new urbanism and sustainable development to even more ex­acting standards,” Tridel says, and this can be credited to the innovative design of Toronto-based Graziani + Corazza Architects Inc.

Established in 1997, Graziani + Cor­azza Architects brings a breadth of know­ledge and experience to projects ranging from single-family and mixed-use developments to commercial, industrial and institutional projects. “We understand the development business,” says Berardo Graziani, principal and one of the three founding partners. “We must be able to adapt and respond to market de­mand without compromising the aesthetic and urban initiatives of the project.

“We also take to heart the needs of the city,” Graziani continues. “We understand that every building we design and help construct is slowly – piece by piece – building parts of our city, so they have to be positive additions, creating better urban places both individually and as part of a greater whole. As well, they must be successful developments for the developer. Finding that balance without compromising our goals is something we’ve been able to do successfully.”

A Perfect Pairing

Metrogate will feature six high-rise towers consisting of two 40-storey, two 35-storey and two 30-storey buildings framing a block of 92 three-storey townhouse residences and a centrally located park. There will be a total of 2,100 units. Each of the towers will have extensive indoor and outdoor amenity packages with ex­ercise rooms, a swimming pool and whirl­pool, and multipurpose party rooms with a gamut of recreational activities. Metrogate also will feature about 400,000 square feet of commercial space consisting of office and retail as well as two daycare facilities.

The two 40-storey towers – known as Solaris – broke ground in early 2009 and will be occupied by fall 2011. “They were received very favorably in the marketplace due to their contemporary design and elliptical form, so both towers were constructed simultaneously,” Graziani says. “While construction progressed, we designed and went to market with the two 30-storey towers.”

This pair – known as Ventus – began construction in fall 2010 and will be completed in 2012. The townhomes, which also sold well, broke ground in summer 2010 and will be completed by summer 2011. “We are currently working on the design of the last two 35-storey towers, which we anticipate will be on the market later this summer,” Graziani says.

Tridel has a contracting subsidiary that is managing the construction portion of the project. Graziani + Corazza Architects values its relationship with the prominent Toronto developer and has worked on previous projects with Tridel. “We have designed many condominium developments throughout the city and understand the development process, so we have a very positive relationship with this developer in particular as well as a good relationship and reputation with the city,” Graziani states.

Sleek Sustainability

Metrogate is a Built Green™ community, which meets the standards of Tridel’s own sustainable development policy. It also is one of only a handful of Canadian developments registered to pursue LEED Neighbourhood for Development certification. “This community was sel­ected from over 300 communities across North America after a rigorous qualification process that incorporated aggressive LEED® sustainability candidate require­ments,” Tridel says.

The development is expected to have links to public transit and will surround a lush 1.6-acre park. “We’ve taken great care to promote positive street activity and pedestrian integration and comfortable movement through the development,” Graziani says. “Once this development is completed, it will have a true sense of community within itself as well as being connected to the surrounding context and city.”