Meet the award-winning architect and discover his vision for Nørdic
November 1, 2019

While the word friluftsliv (pronounced free-loofts-liv) may not be a part of gh3*’s daily vocabulary, the Norwegian philosophy that emphasizes the importance of a connection between built form and the natural landscape seems to define their methodology to a T. Here we speak with the award-winning architects to discover their vision for Nørdic.

Q: How did you approach the design of Nørdic? What was your inspiration for the building?
Our inspiration for Nørdic came directly from the buildings you see on the historic streets of Scandinavian cities, façades that are robust and contribute to a feeling of permanence with proportionately-sized windows that let in an abundance of natural light. We were also inspired by the colour palettes found in northern European countries, and how the light colours can provide a bright counterpoint to short winter days. After all, Toronto gets its fair share of winter.

Q: How did the context of the surrounding neighbourhood influence the design?
Wilson Avenue is a wide avenue with a generous sidewalk. We wanted to maintain that sense of spaciousness and green as much as possible. We were also conscious of the fact that Nørdic is the first midrise building on the north side of the street, so we were mindful that the height and massing of the building fit within the context of the residential buildings across the street.

Q: What do you think Nørdic brings to the neighbourhood of Wilson Heights?
Nørdic will be a important turning point for the transformation of Wilson Avenue from an suburban North York street, to a thriving, vibrant, urban thoroughfare.

Q: There are some really interesting protruding squares on the façade – what are they and how did they become a part of the building architecture
The Wilson façade is a bit of an architectural essay in frames, solids, and voids. The varying proportion, dimension, and size of these elements gives variety and scale to the façade, while providing shade and privacy.