Design / The Phoenix


The Phoenix lobby is meant to be a space of pride and connection; a change of scenery for your workday or a place to lounge with neighbours against an incredibly Instagrammable backdrop.

/ Dominic De Freitas, Principal

Raw and refined, old and new, these pairing reflect the duality of design infused throughout the Phoenix.

Inspired by the legacy of the area’s industrial roots, The Phoenix rises with stunning architecture and a chic boho vibe, nestled in Etobicoke’s Mystic Point community just outside Toronto’s downtown core. Much like its mythical namesake, the Phoenix, is the only one of its kind. This singularity enhances its mystique, emphasizing its rarity and contributing to its symbolism of being a rare and exceptional force of nature.

The charming, character filled lobby, a meticulously crafted convergence of eclectic design and found treasures, serves as the vital link connecting The Phoenix’s two towers. It conveys a timeless well-traveled feel, a comfortable yet sophisticated layering of old and new.

Divided into distinct zones, each with a charming allure and function, the lobby reflects purposeful understanding of how people interact with their environment. With three unique seating areas, each nestled around a flickering fireplace, and an adjacent co-working zone with high-top seating and a thoughtfully designed kitchenette, the space invites moments of tranquility, camaraderie, and connection.

A stunning central skylight diffuses light throughout the space and is surrounded in wooden slats to create a captivating ceiling feature. Accentuated with rich, jewel toned furniture, the lobby details are finished in burnished amber and brass that together, create a colourful and inviting atmosphere with a unique feel. The dramatic iron canopy, rich wood details and eye-catching spherical wood sculptural installation pay homage to The Phoenix’s deep connection and proximity to the Mimico railway.

The fourth-floor is home to an expansive amenity offering, at the heart of which, lies a large entertainment zone that exudes elegance and comfort. Perfect for communal gatherings, the zone features an exquisite kitchen, cocktail lounge, games room, and private dining room that together form a lively, cohesive hub for easy social interaction. Custom millwork adds a personalized touch, while expansive countertops, complete with waterfall edge, elevate the design. Step outside the lounge onto an extensive rooftop terrace with multiple seating areas and BBQs, providing a refreshing extension of the indoor space.

The flexibility to book these spaces individually or altogether, allows residents to host events of varying. scales with ease. Equipped with wine fridges, full-sized appliances, AV capabilities, and various seating options, this social space foster a sense of pride and ownership. Beyond mere functionality, these amenities offer residents an opportunity to create cherished memories and build a strong sense of community.

Descend a stunning fumed wood staircase into a pinnacle of tranquility and well-being in the Phoenix’s wellness zone. Positioned on the third floor, this haven of serenity offers a captivating escape where crystal-clear waters of the pool are set against stunning views and the terrace beyond provides ample seating; a sanctuary for relaxation. Further enhancing the allure of the wellness zone is a zen-like lounge, where unique floating beds redefine the art of repose, while a spacious steam shower and sauna offers a rejuvenating escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

The Phoenix’s commitment to authenticity and inclusivity extends seamlessly into its wellness offerings, providing residents with a holistic experience that nourishes both body and soul. Whether basking in the sun by the pool, unwinding on the terrace, or indulging in the zen-like lounge, every facet of the wellness zone reflects a dedication to elevating the living experience at The Phoenix.

Breaking away from conventional condo design, The Phoenix embraces authenticity and inclusivity, offering amenities that beckon residents to connect, host, rejuvenate and explore within this thriving community. A testament to the power of thoughtful and intelligent design, the amenities seamless blend functionality, and aesthetics providing an invaluable extension of the home that fosters a strong sense of belonging for residents.

Design / The Well. Woodbourne


In a city where residents enjoy a diverse selection of dining, shopping, and stunning living spaces, one singular development is set to capture the whole spectrum of urban living, and become a must-visit destination in itself. With high expectations and impeccable taste, Torontonians will be thoroughly satiated by everything The Well has to offer.

A transformational project unlike any before it, Toronto’s largest master-planned downtown community is a choreographed curation of the best in retail, dining, office and residential space; all seamlessly encompassed by an open-air promenade with a soaring glass canopy. Placed at the heart of this amenity-rich, 7.8 acre streetscape, The Residences at The Well affords the exclusive opportunity to live in the centre of it all.

A joint venture between some of the largest and most notable developers in Canada, RioCan REIT, Allied Properties REIT and Woodbourne, the revitalization of Wellington Street Promenade needed to embody Toronto’s energy and diversity, as well as deliver on the high standards set for this mixed-use endeavor. With a proven portfolio of elevated spaces, Figure3 was engaged to design the lobby, amenity spaces, and suites at three luxury purpose-built rental buildings within the development.

The Residences at The Well have been designed for those who appreciate the finer things in life.  Those who desire easy access to downtown destinations without compromising on style. Creating a timeless, high-end residential design is nothing new to the Figure3 team. However, it was essential to capture a level of sophistication and luxury never before seen in the rental market. “We intentionally deviated from many of the design principles that we often use in purpose-built rentals,” says Dominic De Freitas, Principal at Figure3. “Strategically, we knew this project needed to resonate with the target demographic on a different level.”

This exercise in elevation was met with one specific challenge: utilizing long-lasting materials that favour durability suited to a rental building, while simultaneously incorporating design details that would cater to residents with specific wants, and high expectations. Figure3 set about sourcing maintenance-free materials that would achieve the desired high-end look, while standing the test of time.

Marrying hotel-inspired finishes and luxurious details, Figure3 was inspired to curate a mix of sleek, modern finishes, met with traditional design elements, including natural woods, stone, clean lines, and beautiful, intricate detailing. In each of the lobby spaces, residents are met with an expansive marble reception desk with gold accents, illuminated by an intricate custom lighting fixture suspended overhead. Directly opposite this front desk vignette, an inviting marble surround fireplace is flanked by artful gold shelves. The final detail to harmonize the design can be found in the custom art piece hanging above each fireplace. Commissioned specifically for The Well, the colours utilized to create the pieces were chosen specifically to complement the warm palette of materials used in the lobby.

“When you’re designing for a VIP demographic
the design needs to flawlessly reflect their specific wants,
expectations, and requirements”
/ Dominic De Freitas

The subtle, yet thoughtful design decisions found in the lobby spaces are continued seamlessly throughout each element in order to further elevate this immense, one of a kind project. To achieve the distinct asks for potential residents, Figure3 focused on curating more intimate, concise moments, elevating the level of privacy, and removing any barriers to smoothly navigating around the interior spaces.

Rather than open-concept amenity rooms for residents to socialize, Figure3 opted for a more subtle presentation, allowing for activities and gatherings to feel more intimate and exclusive in nature. Located on the 16th floor of Tower A, the full-sized party room contains a working kitchen, dining area, and two distinct lounge areas, separated by a dual-sided marble fireplace. Designed to reflect the look and feel of a residential living room–complete with modern light fixtures, detailed moulding and a more neutral palette, residents will feel encouraged to welcome their guests into this more formal hosting space, while keeping their personal suites ultimately more private.

In the fitness and wellness centre, no corner was left untouched. Natural wood and detailed surrounds are found throughout the space, with full-sized mirrors bordered by bronze finishes. Each building contains its own private, bookable massage room, entirely enclosed to create a calming, spa-like experience. A large-scale graphic wall covering completes this space, with an abstract image depicting fluidity and movement.

When it comes to the suites, which are large in scale for rentals, there is no shortage of style expressed within the ideals of quiet luxury. Each kitchen features a seamless porcelain backsplash, highlighting the freestanding range hood, and heightened cabinetry for an elevated look and increased storage. Standard in each kitchen island is a wine fridge, with unique contemporary glass pendants overhead to light the space. In the bathroom, oversized countertops are complimented with deep vanity drawers and pendant lighting.

While it was no small feat to meet the high standards set for The Well, Figure3 rose to the challenge and delivered an innovative, impeccable design that will stand the test of time. By successfully exceeding every ask and overcoming every challenge, residents of The Well will certainly be able to say, and show, they have it all.

Design / SXSW Condos


The way we experience life is deeply rooted in how our senses are ignited, and delighted. Everyday
luxuries that produce a subconscious smile can be attached back to simply how they make us feel.
Think of the first taste of a perfectly prepared meal, the smell of winter turning into spring, the feel of
your heartbeat on a quiet morning run. Everything about SXSW–the nature-adjacent location, the visual
design, the integration with the surrounding community–has been created to form an elevated and
unmatched sensory experience.

Located near a forested ravine in Vaughan, two gently undulating towers, referencing the form
of a rippling creek, stand rich in style. While designing the first and fourth floor amenities, suites, and
corridors of the 20 and 22 storey towers, Figure3 emphasized the connection to the natural
surroundings, incorporating biophilic elements and organic textures.

Through the main entrance, residents and guests are greeted with a breathtaking two-story reception
area, flooded with natural light courtesy of the double height windows. The rose-gold mirrored elements
found within are designed to reflect the abundance of natural light, brightening up every corner of the
lobby. The contemporary design is rooted in a timeless, neutral palette, creating a warm and inviting
space that embraces all.

Designed to mimic a grand hotel, organic textures like wood, stone, and marble are balanced with gold
accents to elevate and lend depth to the space. In the lobby, gold cladding is featured on the columns,
the reception desk, and reflected in bronzy mirrored accents. Biophilic elements are another recurring
accent throughout the Figure3 designed spaces, celebrating the park-like surroundings found just steps
outside, while adding another layer of satisfying organic texture. An expansive green feature wall can
be found behind the fluted reception desk. On the fourth floor, the sauna and fitness areas are
complimented with plants, with their doorways draped with elegant vined tendrils.

The expansive reception area opens to the adjacent amenity spaces. The ground floor is laid out in such
a way that energizes the building with a sense of community and gathering. Originally designed in 2017,
when coworking spaces weren’t quite as commonplace, Figure3 set SXSW ahead of the curve by
designing a space which offers flexibility in its function. The social room is outfitted with communal
tables, and a bar station including a sink, fridge, and icemaker. It’s here that residents can come to work,
meet with a friend, socialize with neighbours, or even host a small gathering.

When we were brought on to design SXSW, we knew immediately that we had to celebrate the projects lush green surroundings and pull that into the interior. We referenced some of the best resorts in the world, such as in Bali and Thailand, and found inspiration in how their natural surroundings flow seamlessly into their interior environments. We knew our buyers would want to have that same experience in their own backyard.”
/ Dominic De Freitas

The same organic textures and soft, neutral palette used in the lobby to welcome residents home are
carried throughout the suites on the fourth floor. Luxurious details, such as herringbone backsplashes
and quartz counters, are poised alongside soft colours to create a sleek yet soothing environment. Also
found on the fourth floor are the health and wellness amenities.

Emulating the same airy feeling of the lobby, the wellness area is a double-height space, containing
options indicative of a fully stocked fitness club. Cardio equipment and weights are spotlighted with
natural light, while in the spin and yoga rooms, the bikes can easily be folded away to allow for flexibility
of the space. With access to showers, the pool and a steam shower, residents can truly indulge in
resort-style living, without ever leaving their home.

Extensive terraces bridge the connection between the indoor and outdoor spaces. Equipped for
entertaining family or friends alike, hosting has never been easier than with access to the lounging
areas, pool, BBQ and outdoor dining tables. The SXSW community park rounds up the activities with
a basketball half-court, a playground, a bocce ball court, ping pong tables, and an abundance of walking
trails, creating a sense of being on vacation, everyday.

Design / Liberty House


Toronto’s Liberty Village has gone through a striking metamorphosis, illustrating how a city grows and
transforms. With a history steeped in manufacturing; churning out carpets, toys and washing machines,
its current incarnation is all about community cohesion.

Today’s Liberty Village is a hive for young professionals and artists, and only a short Uber ride from
Toronto’s bustling core and hospitality scene. Many of the old factories in this formerly heavy industrial
area have been repurposed as lofts, while others have become restaurants, gyms, and furniture stores. It’s
no surprise that Liberty House, designed by Figure3, reflects this shift and emphasizes the togetherness
and social connectivity that is deeply rooted in this youthful, energetic community.

“Liberty House provides an exquisite level of finishing and a hospitality-inspired approach, designed
to amplify social connection and provide seamless ease of living.”

Located at the eastern edge of Liberty Village, Liberty House brings an elevated rental experience to
this vibrant Toronto neighbourhood. A host of hotel-like amenities and services are housed within an
art-forward, London-inspired design.

“One of the unique features of this project is the focus on lifestyle, connection and experiences that cater
to the target market,” notes Domenic De Freitas, Figure3 Principal. “Using local art and sophisticated
design details, Liberty House comes together in a way that feels very natural and organic within the
neighbourhood’s surroundings.

The London influence comes alive with a collection of furniture that adds character and an infusion of
colour, paired with traditional design elements like wall paneling and crown mouldings. Megan Hayward,
Senior Team Leader at Figure3 states, “There is a high level of finishing not typical of a purpose built
rental, with rich materiality and stunning details in the common areas and the suites that makes it feel
like home.”

Local art is displayed throughout the common spaces, adding character and points of interest
throughout the building that a include custom art panel in the games room, and a unique mixed media
installation in the fitness centre. “Liberty House embodies the unique essence of the neighbourhood
with eclectic styling and an art-forward approach” states Hayward.

“It provides an exquisite level of finishing
and a hospitality-inspired approach, designed to
amp up social connection and ease of living.

/ Domenic De Freitas, Principal, Figure3

Liberty House suites include upscale kitchens with full-size appliances, streamlined panel-ready
dishwashers, Ceasarstone counters, and a wine fridge; features rarely offered in a rental environment.
The linear design in thekitchen and living area provide for an easy flow and helps to maximize the space.
High-quality finishes are selected for exceptional design and beauty as well as durability. Corridor
details like personal entry lights and gold accents create a welcoming experience.

The hospitality-inspired lobby has more zones for connecting, including a bar with high-top seating
and a fireside lounge with artwork prominently displayed throughout the space. To enhance and
strengthen social bonds, there’s a community kitchen and dining room, a vintage arcade room, a
terrace putting green and outdoor movie theatre. Just off the lobby, an elaborate parcel room
packs a stunning visual punch with bold colours and graphics while providing convenient and
secure parcel storage.

Liberty House Social Club offers exclusive access for residents, making it easy to connect with friends,
family and neighbours while grilling on the rooftop, playing on the putting green, or kicking back in the
outdoor movie theatre. Residents can carve out some tranquility in the yoga room, join a group
meditation in the Zen Garden, or lounge by the rooftop infinity pool, surrounded by cabanas with
incredible views of the city and waterfront. Amenities and common spaces are thoughtfully laid out
to cater to a socially active community and provide ample flexibility to entertain. Features
like the dry sauna, spin room and towel service accentuate the luxury experience.

“Liberty House brings a level of rental living not common to Liberty Village, an area that is typically
known for condos,” De Freitas explains. “It taps into a whole new market, providing an elevated lifestyle
for long-term occupancy. A concierge and staff are dedicated to maintaining the building and assisting
residents, much like in a boutique hotel.”

Design / Menkes Developments Ltd.


Much like the Menkes family itself, Menkes Developments Ltd. has evolved over the generations. What
Murray Menkes started 70 years ago as a developer specializing in single-family homes, now includes
a vast array of multi-disciplinary projects that continue with his three sons Alan, Steven, and Peter, and
together they will usher in the next generation to sustain the Menkes legacy.

With headquarters located across the 12th and 14th floors of 4711 Yonge St. in North York, Menkes was
ready to reimagine the office environment, and with the help of Figure3, welcome a newly designed
space that reflects the company’s forward-thinking approach.

Figure3 Principal Suzanne Wilkinson notes “Menkes wanted to transition from a traditional layout, where
the perimeter offices and closed-off spaces felt dark and dated; we focused on maximizing light and
creating a cohesive, collaboration forward design with a nod to hospitality”

As staff and visitors exit the elevators on the 14th floor they are immediately welcomed into a warm and
open reception area. Concealed wooden doors allow for full access, with a guest lounge that unfolds
into a comfortable space to relax as you wait to be ushered in.

Elevated furniture pieces with fabrics soft to the touch are positioned on a custom carpet that
incorporates the signature Menkes blue. A work bar is located off to the side of the reception area and
allows for a variety of impromptu conversations with a casual energy that reflects the Menkes culture.
Floating planters on metal screens create a slightly whimsical edge and add to the layered approach.

To improve the organic collaboration opportunities, and provide more option for meeting spaces, a
coffee bar was installed on the 14th floor and a large café provides the perfect social hub on the 12th floor.

The cafe has a moody bistro feel with a mosaic marble inlay floor, ribbed felt acoustic panels in Menkes
blue, and harvest tables for communal dining; perfect for working, socializing, and celebrating. The space
features high contrast furnishings against pale wood walls and banquettes inspired by the Four Seasons
Hotel Toronto – a crown jewel development in the Menkes portfolio. A bulkhead clad in mirror spans the
entire perimeter and custom light fixtures give the space a glamorous, private club-like feel. “This new
environment, although fresh and modern has a sophisticated and warm feel that creates a welcoming
atmosphere for Menkes employees, their partners, and clients” says Creative Director, Tamara Rooks.

One of the biggest design moments is the
dramatic wall that rises behind the quartz stairs

that sit just off the café and joins the 12th and
14th floors, creating a stunning visual and
functional connection.”
/ Tamara Rooks

One of the biggest design moments is the dramatic wall that rises behind the quartz stairs that sit just
off the café and joins the 12th and 14th floors, creating a stunning visual and functional connection. The
Menkes family handpicked eight slabs of green-tinged Avocatus marble from Portugal which features a
highly energized veining throughout each panel – evoking images of butterflies, petals, and flying birds.
Threaded bars that serve as a railing on the 14th floor descend through to the 12th floor and create an
informal screen that separates the staircase from the café while maintaining an open feel. Natural
daylight filters throughout the space and biophilic elements, such as natural wood and plants, create
a balanced design between the different floorplates.

“Celebrating their longstanding success as a developer, is very important to Menkes” states Rooks,
“for example a model display on the 14th floor is not only a show piece for their developments
but it also illustrate how the Menkes story weaves into the city landscape.” The model sits alongside
the Menkes Story which is told as a series of images of key developments and their relation to the
city of Toronto. Curated works of art are featured throughout the space, highlighting Menkes deep
appreciation of art. The team worked with an art consultant to help curate the perfect collection
of Canadian artists.

“The transformation has been incredible” says Rooks, who notes that the last time she was at the
headquarters she witnessed many casual conversations throughout the office referencing how the
newly designed space has influenced the overall culture. Sean Menkes, Vice President, Office/Retail at
Menkes Developments notes, “Previously, our organization was spread over multiple floors throughout
the building, which negatively impacted collaboration. Today, whether formal or informal, each of our
divisions are collaborating more, and I’m sure this will pay dividends over decades to come with
an improved culture and continued success.”

Design / The Brixton



In today’s market, buyers aren’t looking for modern transitional, cookie-cutter condos anymore, according
to Dominic De Freitas, Principal, Figure3. “Through our research we understand that millennials and
Gen Z don’t want the uber modern. They want eclectic with character and history, they want a home that
tells a story.”

But breaking out of the mold requires fresh thinking. Developer Adrian Rocca, the CEO of Fitzrovia Real
Estate, sought a unique, dynamic approach for The Brixton, his brand’s new three-tower purpose-built
rental. Rocca is impressed by heritage properties adapted by modern design in London, exposing parts
of the older buildings. “I find a lot of projects in Canada are overly curated. They’re almost
too perfect,” says Suzanne Wilkinson, Principal, Figure3. “Europeans are more confident in mixing
things up where they display a collection of interesting pieces, old and new, and it just works.
This is the approach we took with the design of The Brixton.”

“Through our research we’ve understood
that millennials and Gen Z don’t want
the Uber Modern. They want eclectic,
they want stuff that tells a story
/ Dominic DeFreitas

Located in a formerly industrial part of Toronto near Liberty Village populated by warehouses,
The Brixton’s A and B Towers feature lobbies with exposed ceilings and ductwork, a nod to the region’s
manufacturing history. A wood grid, which looks like a coffered ceiling, gives it a veneer of history.
Another key element driving home the English look is the wood inlay parquetry (inspired by a floor
pattern design from an English palace). Grasscloth wall coverings, wingback chairs, crown mouldings
and marble wainscotting are more traditional decor elements in the lobby.

“The furniture is reminiscent of traditional furniture but we did a modern twist with a cameo back
dining chair. Every element we chose has a traditional spin to bring character to the project and
integrate it with the industrial shell,” De Freitas explains.

Tudor-style box paneling is used behind the Nero Marquina reception desk in Tower B and the effect
is similarly eclectic. Suzanne Wilkinson observes, “You’ve got modern furniture mixed with traditional
pieces of different eras creating a curated over time feel.” Parquet flooring is inset into poured concrete
in front of the reception desk. “You’ve got this play of highly finished wood juxtaposed by polished
concrete, which you’d see in any industrial warehouse here in Toronto,” says DeFreitas.

When it came to the amenity spaces, the emphasis was on inclusion. “These spaces were meant to be
used and enjoyed, not locked away,” explains Nadine Burdak, VP Residential Design and Hospitality,

The fitness centres are industrial and raw in nature, but are filled with an abundance of light with the
surrounding perimeter glass. The CrossFit zone is lined with turf with distance markers for dragging
sleds and flipping tires. In the yoga room, cove lighting above the moulding gives a soft, diffused look.
“We’re layering industrial materials with traditional, heavy framed mirrors with modern light fixtures.
It’s a play on traditionalism, modernism and industrialism,” says De Freitas.

In the Tower B party room, wideplank chevron floors are contrasted by concrete columns and burnished
brass light fixtures. “You can do so much in the media room. It’s a bar space, you can play cards, watch
movies, it has an intimate screening room,” says De Freitas. To give it a moody feel the ceiling is painted
black and finished with a Venetian plaster effect. “It’s an intimate space with a VIP feel to it. You could
reserve this space for the Oscars or game night, it’s a nice venue to hang out with friends.”

In the corridors glossy black traditional paneled doors and gold hardware imbue a Georgian character,
typical of Belgravia townhomes. Overhead a brass conduit light fixture crisscrosses the ceiling like
corset lacing. The suites offer a clean blank canvas with light gray wood kitchen cabinetry,
30” appliances, quartz counters and traditional subway tile backsplash.

“When we were younger designers, traditional design details were often thought of as dated, and
so we actively worked against it with a more modern approach,” De Freitas surmises. “However, this
next generation is attracted to something different, and interested in reclaiming the old and making it
cool again. It’s not always possible to use vintage floor planks, or harvest panelling from historic
European buildings, but we can certainly create a connection to that old-world charm by infusing it
into our designs, furnishings and art pieces to trigger an emotional response to that period.”

Design / Cineplex



Everything in the movies is larger than life: big, bold and eye-catching. Since the dawn of Technicolour
in 1917, this medium is about an immersive experience that takes the senses on a journey. So when
Cineplex approached Figure3 about updating their long standing mid-town Toronto headquarters,
it was time to pull out all the stops.

This update wasn’t just about a few special effects: there were functional needs that had to be
addressed. The staff and teams were situated in various parts of the two four-floor buildings, connected
by an atrium. Physical barriers limited access to natural light, impeded intuitive navigation, and left the
staff feeling isolated which limited their interaction. The 8,500-square-foot office simply wasn’t
supporting the employee’s preferred way to work.

CBRE was hired to manage the project and create a workplace strategy, with the goal of rolling the plans
out to the rest of the facility. They conducted an employee survey to determine what was most wanted
in a new workplace. The staff’s wish list for a choice of tools and settings, enhanced informal
collaboration, brand alignment, health and well-being and a sense of community culture.

Using a portion of the space on the ground floor, Figure3 envisioned a pilot project to bring together
2 of their teams, World Gaming and Design & Construction. It allowed the client to test new styles of
work with the intent of applying learnings to future renovation projects. Now with only four private
offices, the space is open, with flexible work stations that encourage employee connection. Flanked at
the ends of some of the workstation rows we wanted to introduce memorabilia shelves where staff
could display artifacts from movies and games the teams were working on,” says Tamara Rooks,
Creative Lead at Figure3.

“The space is meant to reflect the high energy atmosphere that comes with the Cineplex brand. In
their movie theaters and Rec Room facilities the experience is all about providing entertainment. We
wanted to bring that into their office environment in a way that felt appropriate but also provided
that visual stimulation that one experiences at their locations.”

“Cineplex’s new agile office
encourages innovation and collaboration
within their cross functional teams.”

Privacy pods are located throughout allowing for focused heads-down work. Large red tables are
used by construction teams to review architectural drawings and separate the offices and workstations.
A feature a canopy of bulbs overhead is reminiscent of an old-school movie theatre marquee. Large
yellow tables are placed on the perimeter of the workspace for ad hoc meetings, with lights retrofitted
into cages overhead to resemble stage lights on movie sets. Siting the workstations along the exterior
perimeter allows natural light to flow throughout the space.

The meeting rooms appear like a gallery corridor, each resembling lightboxes with graphic imagery
and multi-coloured privacy glazing to ease navigation. The white diagonal lines of the clapperboard
(that iconic Hollywood staple that signals the start of shooting a scene) is applied to the glass panels
separating the offices, which don’t obscure the transparency so light can still filter through.

The theme of theatre and spectacle makes several recurring star appearances throughout the space,
acting as a design version of “Easter eggs” for eagle-eyed film buffs. “The famous line by Renée
Zellweger in Jerry Maguire is immortalized in penny tiles across the office entrance floor to greet
visitors, a playful nod to a great script” says Rooks. In the cafe, a plush red banquette recalls classic
theatre-style seating, while a black and white motif that mimics a clapperboard sandwiches the
Cineplex logo. Hovering above the cafe, a lightbox spells out “Showtime” like a movie marquee.

To separate the entrance, wide ropes are strung as a divider, which serve as a nod to theatre rigging.
Thick ropes are typically used to operate the fly system that lets the stage crew shift curtains, scenery
and other stage effects.

Cineplex’s new agile office encourages innovation and collaboration within their cross functional teams,
enabling the company and their staff to do their best work. The new space is an inspiring environment
creating a strong connection between staff and the consumer by immersing them into the Cineplex
brand and culture. And that’s a wrap.

Design / Transit City


With a brand new subway station steps away, CentreCourt’s Transit City three new towers in Vaughn
is all about beginnings: the excitement of starting with a clean slate. The three 55-storey condo towers
(the tallest in York Region) borrow their name from the clamshell-like facade of the Vaughn Metropolitan
Centre Station and the curvaceous SmartVMC Bus Terminal, which both encapsulate a space-age

“The design of the towers is very thoughtful and deliberate, creating a landmark from scratch,” notes
Figure3 Principal, Suzanne Wilkinson. TransitCity has set the precedent for the entire master-planned
community, establishing what the neighborhood will look and feel like, and Figure3 had a significant
role shaping that.”

Wilkinson marvels how every last detail of the first three Transit City towers — there will be six in total
eventually — are memorable. “Diamond Schmitt Architects created a wonderful experience.”

Metal panel borders set the exterior apart; the gold boxes reflect the buildings across the street to set
up the jewel-box interiors. “When CentreCourt came to us, they wanted a new development that would
reflect the nature of this once in a life-time opportunity — to bring an urban “vibe” north,” explains Nadine
Burdak, Figure3 VP of Residential Development. “Central to our work at Transit City is the principle of
restrained luxury.”

Shamez Virani, the president of CentreCourt Developments wanted to recreate the aura of a hotel-style
lobby, so residents walking in the front door feel attended to. To add to the lobby’s sense of grandeur,
the ceiling heights are deliberate with lots of very tall gestures such as elongated bookshelves reaching
up to the ceiling. Wilkinson adds: “There are lots of great colour and shadows with the wood slatting and
screen details in gold. On the lobby walls, we’ve used gold surround, marble and lovely mesh sconces.” A
personal favourite of hers is the old-school gold mailboxes that look pulled straight from a glamorous Art
Deco Hollywood hotel.

“The design of the towers is very
thoughtful and deliberate, creating
a landmark from scratch.”
/ Suzanne Wilkinson

“CentreCourt has had great success in leveraging brand opportunities to help reinforce the lifestyle
they curate for their properties – from creating signature scents to incorporating luxury furnishings
from iconic fashion houses such as Versace and Fendi,” says Burdak. “Here in the first phase of Transit
City they took it to the next level by securing a prominent restaurant brand in a space connected
to the main lobby.”

Burdak emphasizes how gold plays a starring role. “To the developer, CentreCourt, this finish speaks to
a language of elegance, sophistication and luxury: you see it in the gold mesh, light fixtures, sconces and
inlays.” Shamez lived in Shangri-La, “so he wanted to bring that atmosphere to this project, blurring lines
between the restaurant and lobby. It injects the lobby with energy, which is a great approach we see
more developers doing,” Wilkinson adds. “They want to have that hotel feel, when people move in they
want it hotel-ready and the lobby lounge is an extension of the restaurant.”

However, Transit City emphasizes creating a community, as well as creating a lifestyle. Tower residents
are granted a year-long membership to the adjacent 100,000-square-foot YMCA, complete with
swimming pool and basketball courts. As a result the amenity rooms in Towers 1 and 2 didn’t need to
incorporate gym equipment. “The amenities are all aligned on the same floor so they feel like an
extension of one another, even though they’re separate they’re all connected to the outdoor spaces,”
says Wilkinson. In Tower 2 the amenity room is divided into a party room and a golf simulator that
leads outside to the terrace, while Tower 1 has a billiards room.

But the crown jewel has to be the rooftop patios, designed by internationally renowned firm Claude
Cormier + Associés. Since the buildings are the tallest in the area, there are almost uninterrupted views
of the horizon. Towers that seem to stretch up to the sky are landscaped with an abundance of trees,
boxwood hedges, manicured lawns, and oversized planters. Sitting on the generously proportioned
terraces, the feeling is expansive and transportive. “Because the buildings are adjacent to each other
and on the same level, the terraces feel connected, an extension of each other even though they’re in
separate towers,” observes Wilkinson. “They’ve even managed to make it feel like there are hills,
it’s just stunning.”

“This project is such a success as it’s the culmination of an amazing vision of residential and hospitality
living and expert execution,” says Wilkinson. “It was a fantastic collaboration with CentreCourt,
and Transit City speaks for itself as a legacy development.”

Design / Globe and Mail Centre


There’s a lot to read between the lines at 351 King St E. A graphic black and white 17-storey tower,
The Globe & Mail Centre could be pulled from the front page of the venerable national broadsheet. But
like the best newspaper reportage, there is truth to be uncovered, stories to be told, and history made to
feel relevant and alive.

Built by First Gulf within the 10 city blocks of what was originally called the Town of York, the Globe
and Mail Centre (which snagged a NAIOP Real Estate Excellence (REX) award for Office Development of the
Year in 2018) sits within the bustling St. Lawrence neighbourhood. This building occupies a storied site,
the former ‘Berkeley House’ was a significant early residence in the Town. Built in 1795 and made from bricks
and covered by stucco, the house was considered “large and rambling, with a somewhat quaint but
stately appearance.”

The Small family, who lived at Berkeley House from 1795 to 1814, were important members of the Family
Compact and the social and political milieu of Toronto. The house was the setting for meetings of the
Executive Council of Upper Canada and in 1813, American troops looted and sacked it during their
occupation following the Battle of York.

Natural honed Piasentina stone floor hand selected in Italy.

Handblown glass light fixture by Bocci, Omer Arbel’s West Coast design firm.

“It’s subtle but we’re peeling back something
modern and integrating the history within and
displaying the old within the space.”
/ Suzanne Wilkinson

During excavation, bits of the house revealed itself, including a bottle of Heinz’s intriguingly named ‘Woozy
Sauce,’ as well as bits of porcelain, remnants of the grand sets of dishes that graced many important dinners.
“A lot of Toronto history has been demolished and lost,” acknowledges Suzanne Wilkinson, Principal at
Figure3, which designed the lobby space in collaboration with Diamond Schmitt Architects. “We wanted
to establish a museum-like environment in the lobby to honour that heritage.”

The Globe and Mail Centre is surrounded by pillars of design, Canadian retailers Nienkamper and plan b, as
well as Italinteriors and Kiosk, purveyors of cutting edge contemporary furnishings. “Initially we conceived of
the lobby as a European piazza, with an illuminated ceiling that mimics the dappled light through the trees,”
explains Wilkinson. To elevate that sense of history, artifacts that were unearthed at the site of
Berkeley House are preserved in jewel box niches in the main lobby, a public arcade that connects King and Front
streets, creating an accessible 24-hour pedestrian connection with retailers, coffee bars and restaurants.

Underfoot, natural honed Piasentina stone floors hand selected in Italy are accented by polished white quartz
slab walls. Overhead, the ceiling appears to get higher as the streetscape grade lowers toward Front Street,
making for an open and bright arcade. Figure3 intentionally contrasted the elevator banks of dark acid-etched
mirrored walls to distinguish the public and private areas.

To celebrate the history of the site, the original foundation walls of the historical Berkeley House are integrated in a seating area near the elevator lobby. The humble stone creates a striking contrast with the
smoothness of the white quartz wall and is lit from above to highlight the rugged texture. “It’s subtle but we’re
peeling back something modern and integrating the history within and displaying the old within the space,”
says Wilkinson.

To bring in softness and reflectivity, a handblown glass light fixture by Bocci, Omer Arbel’s West Coast design
firm, hovers over the reception desk. The glass orbs float like jellyfish in front of a slatted wall backdrop in dark
stained wood, another Canadian nod.

But Wilkinson is quick to point out that Figure3 just didn’t shape the design of the lobby. “Our role in advising
First Gulf began before there was a hole in the ground. We consulted on the efficiency and planning of the
building, encouraging outdoor spaces by having patios and places to go.” It’s important to look forward, to
shape the office of the future that now stands on the grounds of a historic Canadian home. “What are tenants
going to be looking for in the future? Because we’re always considering what tenants, staff and employees
want, in this case: beautiful views, open ceilings, flexibility with raised floor systems and making sure
there are outdoor spaces,” Wilkinson explains.

Made up of 10 vertically stacked blocks of varying heights, the exterior of the Globe and Mail Centre offers
expansive landscaped terraces with unobstructed views of the waterfront and city skyline. “By having this
layered building where the floor plates shift means there are a number of floors that have outdoor spaces like
little balconies.” The Globe and Mail has a space on the top floor with a patio which can be rented for a variety
of special occasions, landmark celebrations and corporate events. Now the building is quite another kind of
gathering point for Toronto’s social fabric.

Design / Grand Central Mimico


Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe cast a long shadow, aside from his masterful Toronto-Dominion
Centre (Philip Johnson dubbed it the largest Mies in the world). His vision of unencumbered, open
public spaces were freed from the fussiness and architectural fripperies of previous design movements.

Although van der Rohe didn’t design the Ottawa Train station (it’s by seminal Canadian architecture
firm John B. Parkin & Associates) the fingerprints of his International style are very much in evidence.
Described as almost spiritual in design — like a cathedral — the steel trusses are a nod to van der Rohe’s
steel I-beams and convey the visceral experience and excitement of travel itself. Like the steel rails that
crisscross Canada, this station embraces the essential industrial components at its core and elevates
them to something grandiose and awe inspiring.

There’s an almost heroic quality to the exposed steel trusses of the Ottawa station which make up a
contemporary composition so Miesian in architectural inspiration. It reflects the mid-century optimism
of 1966 — when the station was built — when space travel was the newest frontier and technology
drove a new generation of architects and designers.

Often taken for granted pre-Pandemic, travel and movement have become glamorous once again.
The freedom that travel affords has acquired new lustre and is the vital lifeblood of major cities.

“We took the grid language from
the lobby and simplified it into
a glazing system.”
/ Vazken Karageozian

In the lakeside community of Mimico, one of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods, the railroad was the
raison d’être for its creation. In 1906, The Grand Trunk Railway opened the Mimico Yards and the need
for nearby housing for railway workers and their families spurred a building boom in the area. As the
yards took root, so did the community. The name Mimico even has transitory roots: it was inspired by
the Ojibway word “Omiimiikaa,” to describe the home of countless passenger pigeons.

Today, Mimico is the site of Vandyk Properties new Grand Central Mimico, steps from the Mimico Go
Station. Spanning four city blocks across 55 acres, it makes up over 2 million square feet of mixed-use
development. This is more than a commuter nexus, it’s a home base nestled along a nature trail that
runs parallel to the Go Train station tracks.

The urban development will feature nine condominiums, a combination of workspaces, retail,
restaurants, markets and a variety of outdoor amenities set beside walking trails and bike paths.
This connectedness makes owning a car practically obsolete.

“To ensure the industrial aesthetic is warm
and inviting, the details we chose in the
furnishing, accessories and lighting make it
attractive and welcoming.”
/ Carl Laffan

To kickstart the hyperconnected project is The Buckinghman: a three-tower condominium built on a
warehouse style podium with ground level retail and office spaces. Figure3 looked to industrial design
for inspiration that’s often seen in old train stations and Manhattan’s Meatpacking District – reimagined
with an elevated, luxurious look.

“To ensure the industrial aesthetic is warm and inviting, the details we chose in the furnishing, accessories
and lighting make it attractive and welcoming,” says Carl Laffan, Creative Lead at Figure3. Clean
lines combined with the strong dramatic form of the buildings echo the grand public halls of an earlier
era of train travel. Metal bracing seen on the outside has been reintroduced in the gallery-esque lobby.

“We took the grid language from the lobby but simplified it into a glazing system,” says Vazken
Karageozian, Team Lead at Figure3. “The geometric shapes are perfectly in harmony with the softer
materials.” The raw industrial components are juxtaposed effortlessly by sumptuous materials like
black marble and brass. “When designing a home for people, you want to create something that feels
special when they walk in,” says Laffan. “That’s what design is about – you’re looking for an
emotional reaction and experience.”

The social club features two bold private party rooms with black marble fireplaces, a private dining
room, and a sports lounge with a golf simulator. To make the most of the double-height ceiling, the
Figure3 team transformed the mezzanine dwelling, originally designated as a mechanical room, into
media rooms that feature karaoke and theatres to amp up social connectivity and provide a source of
community close to home.

Across the terrace, which has been outfitted with barbecues and fire pit lounges, lies a 7,515-square-foot
wellness centre with a fully equipped state-of-the-art gym, and yoga studio. Taking into account the
future of the workplace, the Buckingham has incorporated a flexible co-working space for its residents,
complete with a private meeting room and a spacious outdoor terrace designed by Kohn Architects
and SvN. Rendered in metal, wood, and black marble for a dose of luxury, the versatile setup allows for
residents to work how they please.

When it came time to tailor the suites, Figure3’s approach was refined luxury. A monolithic kitchen with
clean lines and integrated features keeps the look tidy while floor-to-ceiling windows and full width balconies
offer stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

“It’s all about the details, textures and materiality,” says Karageozian, who has worked closely with the
various architecture and marketing teams to perfect the concept throughout The Buckingham. The
expression “less is more” is often attributed to van der Rohe and though he may not have come up with
the actual expression, his work is a reflection of that pure sentiment. Grand Central Mimico interprets
that spirit, celebrating beauty that comes with stripping elements back to their essential nature, clearing
the way for a brighter, connected future and the wide horizon beyond.