Innovation / The Parker

NORTHERN LIGHT

A Scandi-style purpose-built rental that reflects what millennials value, and how they want to live.

When it was announced that an urban café would reside at the ground level of The Parker, a new
purpose-built rental at Yonge and Eglinton, Figure3 knew they had a big opportunity on their hands to
create a space that appealed to a youthful demographic; one that’s so often associated with hip coffee
culture.

Traditionally retail is an independent component in a condo, accessed from the outside and often
stylistically disconnected from the design of the building it’s a part of. “When we learned that this
hospitality piece would be part of the lobby experience at The Parker, we got really excited because it
creates a really interesting dynamic.” says Dominic De Freitas, Principal, Figure3. “When it’s a
standalone retail it’s easy, but now we’re integrating it into the lobby and trying to create this seamless
experience with amenities that rival a luxury hotel.”

On a recent trip to Iceland, De Freitas was inspired by the unique details of the luxury hotels of the
region. “We veered towards a Nordic-themed clean, simplistic design; very elegant.”

In the lobby, materials reflect an elevated experience with pale, silvery blond woods that recur through
all the spaces, paired with concrete and black metal accents, common elements in Scandinavian design.
Frosted reeded glass behind the desk is back lit for a diffused, icy glow, and biophilic elements in the
lobby bringing in year-round greenery.

On the 37th amenity floor, the fitness centre is equipped with branded Hammer Strength equipment
and a Greenhouse Juice centre nearby. “These are examples of how Fitzrovia likes to curate a branded
experience. It’s these thoughtful details that are unique to them,” says De Freitas.

“We veered more towards this
Nordic-themed clean, simplistic design
but still very elegant.”
/ Dominic De Freitas

One of the standout features in the design is the double-height ceilings in common spaces such as the
fitness centre. “This was something I saw repeatedly in Iceland; the footprint of the spaces were small
but they had volume, says De Freitas. “When you walk into a tall volume the space just feels so much
better, which is why the yoga and party rooms are uniquely stacked.”

In the Sky Lounge, a two-storey wood panel emphasizes the verticality of the space and a custom blown
glass light fixture fills the volume from above drawing the eye up. The lower level is a sophisticated
lounge. “It reminds me of hotel VIP gold member lounges where they dedicate certain floors for their
members use only,” observes De Freitas. At the top of the staircase is a private entertainment kitchen
offering access to the outdoor terrace, and infinity pool set with cabanas. “In the summertime, you can
have drinks with friends and use the cabanas and pool, it feels private and exclusive.”

Accessed from the Sky Lounge, the games room adds an element of lighthearted design. It’s outfitted
with arcade games, a billiard table, and unique neon wall art depicting old school Pac-Man characters
created by Thursh Holmes. “We had fun with the retro game experience, explains Megan Hayward,
Senior Team Leader, Figure3. “We integrated custom neon art pieces and wall coverings resembling old
comic strips. We were being a little cheeky here.” More fun was had in the two-lane bowling alley area
where replica bowling balls are clustered in the ceiling, while a wall of funky bowling shoes are painted a
gradient scale as wall art.

Every square inch of the suites are maximized by design, to ensure an efficient and thoughtful suite
layout for comfortable living. The kitchens are equipped with a built in wine fridge, a rarity. “It’s
interesting, it was important to the developer that the suites had all the standard appliances that you’d
find in any suburban home,” says De Freitas. “So nothing was compromised in terms of size or scale.”
The countertops and backsplashes are quartz, with waterfall edges on the island and the cabinetry is
a sophisticated two-tone with wood on the bottom and an accent colour on the top.

Storage is another unexpected bonus. Hayward describes, “Customized storage solutions to help
organize the tenant was an important and intentional part of the suite design. We included an entry
mudroom organizer and extra-wide closets fully outfitted in the bedrooms, things you wouldn’t see in a
regular condo or rental.”

“I would say from a suite perspective that’s pretty innovative since it’s not common for this market,
having all these extra custom storage items that come built into the unit,” adds De Freitas. “It’s pretty
unique, and helps make The Parker a standout project.”

LinkedIn0