The Well condo building, winner of International design award

The groundbreaking Toronto condo The Well wins international design award

The Well at Front and Spadina is not only one of the most significant mixed-use luxury condo buildings in downtown Toronto, it is also one of 11 international winners of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) Awards in the Best Tall Building by Height, 100-199 metres category.

The CTBUH recognised more than 100 of the most exemplary projects in the architecture, engineering, and construction industries—projects from across the globe were recognized in over 20 categories and subcategories, including best tall building, innovation, urban habitat, repositioning and equity, diversity & inclusion.

The Well, a 1.2 million-square-foot building at 8 Spadina, is vastly different from the typical building layouts in the city, with the focal point of the development being the 38-storey LEED-certified platinum office tower located at the corner of Front and Spadina, with prominent retail frontage along each thoroughfare. From this corner of the site, wide pedestrian-only walkways extend across the development, linking together retail space at the base of each of the seven towers on levels 1 and 2. The central exterior retail walkway on Level 2 is covered by a 525-foot-long glass canopy trailing through the centre of the site between the towers.

The canopy provides pedestrians with a dry and bright walkway, linking the residential and commercial buildings using steel and glass components. It spans nearly 160m in length, 80 m in width, and sits over three storeys high.

The Well (Hariri Pontarini Architects)

Hariri Pontarini Architects were the master architects for The Well development, and when the firm accepted the recent CTBUH award, they expressed their gratitude.

“We’re pleased to be recognized by the CTBUH for a project that we believe is a unique and highly contextual reimagining of the office tower,” David Pontarini, Founding Partner of Hariri Pontarini Architects, said.

Award of Excellence winners now move on to the next stage of judging: project teams present their submissions to attendees and live juries at the CTBUH 2024 International Conference, September 23–27, in London and Paris. Overall winners for each category will then be selected and announced at an award ceremony and dinner.

Other Toronto buildings recognized were CIBC Square at 81 Bay St. and the SickKids Patient Support Centre at 175 Elizabeth St. (Best Tall Building Americas category), Concord CityPlace, 360 Lake Shore Blvd W. (Urban Habitat Award), Limberlost Place – Mass Timber Structure and Prefab Envelope System for Tall Institutional Building, 185 Queens Quay E. (Innovation Award), and the Limberlost Place, 185 Queens Quay East (Structure Award).

“This year’s submissions showcase the wide spectrum of architectural innovations, construction techniques and urban visions transforming tall-building design internationally, as well as the evolving role of livable density in shaping our cities and skylines,” CTBUH CEO Javier Quintana de Uña said in a statement. “These projects demonstrate not only architectural excellence but also the need to prioritize sustainability, resilience and human-centric design, setting new benchmarks and aspirations for the entire AEC industry.”

For the awards process—CTBUH distributed an international call for its 2024 awards program in December and received detailed submissions from architects, engineers, developers, contractors, and a wide array of other companies involved in sustainable vertical urbanism from across the globe.

In February, expert juries began reviewing submissions, including extensive project data, technical drawings, written descriptions, and detailed photography, and then decided on which met stringent criteria. Jurors were chosen for their standing in their industry, as well as geographical and demographic diversity.

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