Toronto Life

Maple House

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Where: Canary Landing Developer: DKT Partnershi­p Designer: DesignAgen­cy Number of units: 770

When Matthew Davis of DesignAgen­cy was planning the lobby for Maple House, a residentia­l complex near the Distillery District, he wanted to strike a balance. On the one hand, the space had to be useful. If it was outfitted with the typical lobby amenities—a few scattered benches and coffee tables—no one would hang out there. People would assume, as they often do, that the furnishing­s were merely decorative.

On the other hand, if the space was over-programmed, it wouldn’t meet residents’ needs. Billiard tables are nice, but they’re useful only if you play billiards. Because the lobby is a kind of hub—it’s located in the middle building of a three-tower complex—Davis wanted it to crackle with energy. “The lobby shouldn’t do one or two specific things,” he says. “It should do many possible things”—provide a place to hunker down over work, kick back over cocktails or curl up with a book.

To that end, the expansive sectionals are decorated with an assortment of mismatched pillows, which add a homey feel to an otherwise imposing room. The co-working area on the mezzanine has the kind of amenities that are rare in most residentia­l complexes: whiteboard­s, magnetic boards, and a glassed-in area with a boardroom table that’s ideal for business meetings but also great for game nights or casual drinks.

Davis describes the lobby as a “third space”—less private than a home, more convivial than an office. “The desire for these spaces has grown in the aftermath of the lockdowns,” he says. The four-by-six-metre concierge desk exemplifie­s this trend: it isn’t intended only for reception and deliveries—it can double as a bar or a DJ booth.

 ?? ?? 1 The custom pendant lights above the seating area are made of thin metal strands that trace the outline of a dome. “They almost look handdrawn,” says Davis.
2 The terrazzo-style floors alternate between black and white to differenti­ate between seating and walking areas.
3 The columns of fluted wood behind the reception desk evoke drapery.
4 To avoid a corporate vibe, Davis built the co-working amenities into a shelf.
1 The custom pendant lights above the seating area are made of thin metal strands that trace the outline of a dome. “They almost look handdrawn,” says Davis. 2 The terrazzo-style floors alternate between black and white to differenti­ate between seating and walking areas. 3 The columns of fluted wood behind the reception desk evoke drapery. 4 To avoid a corporate vibe, Davis built the co-working amenities into a shelf.
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