So, who else is dying to use their outdoor space? House owners, is your backyard calling out to you? Do you have a pool that’s just begging to be opened? Condo dwellers, have you spent the last few days just daydreaming about lounging on your rooftop terrace? We’ve been thinking about warm weather so much, that we contacted the award-winning design firm, Munge Leung, to discuss designing outdoor spaces for downtown condos.
Newinhomes (NIH): One of your latest projects is The Easton’s Group’s Dundas Square Gardens. One of the highlighted amenity spaces is the five rooftop terraces. How did you blend the interior design with the exterior to create a seamless environment for the residents?
Munge Leung (ML): Spanning over 16,000 square feet, the terraces at Dundas Square Gardens are designed to serve as an extension of one’s living space while also facilitating the vibrant, social nature of the Yonge/Dundas neighbourhood. The development will feature five outdoor terraces offering numerous amenities, including an architecturally stunning infinity pool, hot tub, communal and plush lounge-style seating, lush landscaping and barbeques, as well as a dedicated pet area.
Designed to serve as an inviting garden respite in the heart of the city, the multi-layered outdoor terraces seamlessly and organically transition between the indoors and out via expansive window vistas and a fluid floor plan that effortlessly connects the outdoor amenity areas with the interior space. Munge Leung’s design for the tiered terraces at Dundas Square Gardens is a pioneering concept for outdoor green space in a condominium, and helps the development stand above the competition.
NIH: At Dundas Square Gardens, what was your inspiration behind the residential design as well as its various amenity spaces? What type of resident do you imagine inhabiting this space?
ML: Munge Leung took inspiration from the youthful, hip and thriving nature of the Yonge/Dundas neighbourhood. The design of the public spaces at Dundas Square Gardens incorporates a clean, sophisticated aesthetic with modern touches of art and colour via Munge Leung’s custom Furniture, Fixtures & Equipment program. The building’s amenities are fresh, cool and artistic, geared towards a chic, urban demographic. The residences at Dundas Square Gardens feature a tone-on-tone palette, allowing residents the flexibility to add their own personal flair and establish a sense of place.
NIH: Tell us about the spectacular King Blue Condos and your inspiration behind its design.
ML: The design of King Blue reflects the excitement and vibrancy of King Street West, offering residents dazzling finishes and world-class amenities. Comprised of two towers and integrating the historic façade of the Canadian Westinghouse Building, King Blue is designed to be an interactive and sophisticated community setting stimulated by the hub of energy emanating from the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District.
To accommodate the bustling nature of King Street West, Munge Leung’s overarching design goal was to promote interaction and conversation, enhanced by the building’s spectacular shared courtyard and amenity spaces including expansive lobbies, private function rooms, state-of-the-art fitness facility, high-end restaurants and retail establishments at street level serving as extensions of the residential suites. The upscale outdoor amenities, designed by Munge Leung in conjunction with NAK Design Group, include a landscaped rooftop terrace with water feature, private cabanas, lounge seating and a central bar.
The residential suites will feature floor-to-ceiling windows and custom designed kitchens with sleek polished granite countertops and integrated stainless steel appliances in addition to hardwood oak flooring and expansive 9’ ceilings.
NIH: Why is it important to have an abundance of outdoor space when living downtown?
ML: Offering a dedicated outdoor space offers city-dwellers a much-needed, organic respite from the bustling city and helps to maintain a connection to nature that is essential to one’s well being.
NIH: What goes into designing the perfect outdoor space for a downtown condo?
ML: It is important that the design of a building’s outdoor space reflects the needs of its surrounding community. A focus on green space is essential; Torontonians crave dedicated green space, as well as outdoor amenity areas that can be used year-round. The outdoor terraces at Dundas Square Gardens, for example, together exceed 16,000 square feet, or just over one-third of an acre of green space in the heart of the city. These terraces offer a variety of outdoor amenities to suit a wide range of needs.
NIH: What’s the main difference between low-rise outdoor space and high-rise outdoor space?
ML: The approach to outdoor amenity design for low-rise and high-rise developments differs entirely on the volume of people using the space. Low-rise condominium dwellers often have direct access to the street level; therefore there is less demand for outdoor amenities. In a high-rise condominium tower, there is a high volume of residents using the outdoor space, and those activities are concentrated in the building’s limited outdoor amenity areas. Therefore Munge Leung designed the outdoor amenities at Dundas Square Gardens to be organic, accessible, and private.