Tivoli: new kid on the old block
When a new building appears in an older neighbourhood, it shakes things up. Neighbours swap opinions. Passersby slow down, do double-takes. There’s a settling-in time. But with luck, the street enters the next phase of its history in a way that maintains the character of the neighbourhood, while also accommodating its evolution.
And sometimes it’s not luck as much as care and diligence that bring all the pieces together into a coherent whole. That is, sometimes it happens by design.
Tivoli, a two-storey multi-unit pair of residences built in 2014 on Frederick Street in Kitchener, was designed by SRM Architects for Blaze Properties. Tivoli commends itself to its streetscape perhaps more than most new construction does. How? Consider the block of flats facing Samuel Street.
Its scale and dimensions are suited to the site; its height, depth and length are well proportioned, and in harmony with the surroundings. Real brick – not precast panels – in two subdued, complementary colours alternates with boldly coloured stucco, all carefully selected to respond to the palette of the neighbourhood.
The colours and textures manage to be both matching and contrasting. On the Samuel Street façade, an exercise in right angles, large box-windows project from the wall plane, offset from each other. As a foil to all this perpendicularity, a single low-slope roof caps it off with a slight angle. The playful composition is a delight to behold.
Tivoli shows how a new kid on the block doesn’t need to copy an old style to fit in.