Aura, Toronto, Canada
Graziani + Corazza Architects Inc.

Graziani + Corazza Architects’ innovative vision in partnership with Canderel Stoneridge challenged Toronto’s downtown core by building Canada’s tallest residential structure. This mixed use development is located on 1.6 acres of land adjacent to a 3 acre Park at the northwest corner of Yonge and Gerrard Street. At $645 million CAD, the tower expresses a unique sculpted form, beginning with its rectilinear lower level massing and topping off with its distinctive crown at the top of the tower being created by reversing the curved tower profile from plan to elevation, a form that is both visible and identifiable from varying vantage points throughout the city.

The lighting design’s intent was to accentuate and celebrate, extending the visibility of the development beyond the daylight hours. The lighting was designed to create a strong visual identity, encourage pedestrians and residents to utilize the lighting as a marker in the sky, and create an official landmark in the downtown core of Toronto. The unique lighting design has quickly become an exciting point of discussion and focus for both residents and visitors of the City.

The parameters of the lighting concept incorporate a customized window mullion design permitting the LED lights to be embedded, directing the lighting outwards. This control of the light source ensures the light would not impact the residences, as it produces an outward, directional, controlled effect. Due to the complex nature of the installation, it took 9 months to install the LED strips into the curtain wall. The illumination that projects from Aura compliments the architectural form, and provides a sustainable solution for environmental and economic performance. Our implementation of LED lighting allow for reduced operational and maintenance costs, lowering the overall carbon footprint of the development.

The design inspiration stemmed from a desire to recall and celebrate the sculpted form of the 78 storey tower that we see by day, at night. Vertical strips cascade from the top of the curved roof form and extend downwards at varying lengths. In total, 1.2 KM of LED lights was utilized to produce the effect that delineates the 136,000 kg steel crown structure. Aura stepped out of the box by not mimicking the normalcy of the many regular buildings in the downtown core, and its unique design granted Aura an identity. The lighting design further celebrates and reinforces this identity, elevating Aura as a new iconic landmark for the City of Toronto.

Friday 29 Jul 2016
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