Wrought Iron design
Former church to house actors
By KATE TARALA
The theatre company’s previous home in Hunter Street’s Civic Arcade is set for demolition as part of the redevelopment of the city block that also contains the derelict Civic Hotel.
The former church, in Watt Street, had been flagged for redevelopment as a restaurant and wedding reception venue but will now house Tantrum Theatre for the next three years.
Tantrum will be joined by Performing Arts Newcastle at the site, which includes the church, a hall and adjoining buildings.
With its high wooden ceilings, wrought iron detail and stained glass windows, the building will add something special to the setting of theatrical productions.
Tantrum Theatre has cultivated a reputation as Newcastle’s leading theatre company for young people with bold performances and new works.
Tantrum general manager and tutor Mitchell Reese hoped the site would become an arts hub, with the potential for another group to move in.
‘‘It is a brilliant space to hold workshops, performances and rehearsals,’’ he said.
U.K. architect Will Alsop designs Yonge St. condo for North Toronto: Hume
Midrise condo planned for Yonge south of Lawrence offers a new vision of 21st-century city and its architecture.
By Christopher Hume
Normally, the launch of yet another condo on Yonge St. would pass unnoticed, except by the neighbours. But it will be hard not to notice the project proposed for Yonge St. and Strathgowan Ave. To begin with, it’s designed by Will Alsop, the British architect best known in these parts for the “flying tabletop,” officially the Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art & Design University.
That’s the McCaul St. building suspended on a series of brightly coloured steel columns. No one who has seen it will be surprised to hear the condo is, well, somewhat out of the ordinary. That would be true in any part of town, but in leafy North Toronto, Alsop’s offering will not only turn heads, it will wrench necks.
That’s what architects love to do, of course, not that most ever get the chance. In Alsop’s case, however, he has become the go-to guy for clients who want something unique, even provocative. Though easy to forget, Alsop’s buildings are much more practical than they appear. Putting OCAD University on legs, for example, meant not having to close and/or move the school, saving time and money.
But for most, what we see is what we get. The Strathgowan condo will be midrise — 10 storeys — but beyond that, it’s hard to describe. For starters, the building is wrapped in a steel screen, patterned, pierced and perforated to resemble a lacy architectural façade. Vaguely reminiscent of Jean Nouvel’s exquisite Arab World Institute in Paris, Alsop’s condo also has the feel of one of those French Quarter buildings in New Orleans with the ornate wrought iron balconies.
“It’s diaphanous on the lower levels,” Alsop explains. “We’re using a woven stainless steel. It’s more like fabric than steel. You can detail it as if it were PVC.”
Even more striking, the building is divided horizontally into two sections. The bottom, seven storeys tall, slopes outward as it drops down to Yonge St. The top part, a three-floor rectangular structure that extends beyond the base, bears a slight resemblance to the OCAD U tabletop.
It looks like nothing ever seen in Toronto; yet there’s no reason to think it won’t belong, especially on a stretch of Yonge that has very little identity of its own. The most memorable piece of architecture here is the Glengrove Hydro Substation, a 1931 neo-gothic beauty that outshines its neighbours, including the many apartment buildings that are the most distinctive feature of Yonge south of Lawrence Ave.
“The client was looking for something a little different,” Alsop says, straight-faced. “She also wanted to do a different type of interior. You can slide inner walls so that bedrooms become balconies. You can open your whole apartment to the outside. We’re trying to keep the units as open and flexible as possible.” That client, former architect Bianca Pollak, confirms she did indeed want to do something out of the ordinary.
“I believe this part of Yonge needs something,” she explains. “I see this as an opportunity to do something. When Will is involved, the results are always extraordinary. We’re all very excited.”
It’s still early days, Pollak makes clear, and the project has yet to be submitted to the city for approval. Though the neighbours might be shocked at first, they will quickly get over that. Besides, Pollak plans to add one full floor of public parking underground. That will appease many, though the 10 storeys will undoubtedly be an issue, too. In truth, nothing less makes sense in this part of 21st-century Toronto.
Open viewing at luxury Dore home
It is fitted with the most up-to-date technology including audio system, digital radio, security system and under-floor heating and is covered by a 10-year building warranty.
The front door opens into a reception hall leading to other ground floor rooms. A formal lounge or cinema room incorporates a 50in plasma screen, DVD and speaker system. Glass sliding doors lead to an open plan kitchen, dining area and family lounge.
The kitchen area is fitted with contemporary high-gloss units with granite worktops. Integrated appliances include a fridge, freezer, dishwasher, wine cooler, a range of conventional, steam and microwave ovens, plate warmers and a five-zone induction hob.
The dining area has porcelain-tiled floor and sliding doors to the back garden. The lounge also has folding doors to the garden; focal point is a stone feature fireplace. There is a study, a utility room and a cloakroom with wc.
Stairs rise to a galleried landing leading to a master bedroom suite including a Jacuzzi air bath and rain head shower.
There are two more bedrooms, one of them with en-suite bathroom and Juliet balcony, a fourth bedroom or study and a family bathroom with luxury white suite by Roca.
More stairs rise to a second floor where there are two further bedrooms, both en suite. Outside is a block-paved front garden screened by stone walls, wrought iron railings and laurel hedging. This leads to a generous garage with electric doors.
The back garden is fully enclosed, comprising stone-flagged terraces, shaped lawn with timber sleepers, seating areas, awater feature, planted borders and ornamental trees.
$135 Million Dallas Palace Is America’s New Most Expensive Home For Sale
While rumors swirled Friday about the alleged sale of a $117 million home in Woodside, Calif., another abode far from the center of the tech universe quietly began attracting attention as the new most expensive home for sale in the United States.
The Crespi-Hicks Estate, which is being quietly shopped off of the Multiple Listing Services, wants a staggering $135 million. The best part: it’s not located in San Francisco, or even New York City. America’s new most expensive home for sale is in Dallas, Texas.
The Dallas estate sits behind wrought iron gates in the ultra elite Mayflower Estates neighborhood. Spanning 25 acres, the compound boasts roughly 42,500 square feet of living space including a five-story main house, a two-story guest house and a three-story pool house. It’s owned by Thomas and Cinda Hicks, former Forbes 400 listmakers whose personal net worth swelled as large as $1.4 billion in 2008.Tom Hicks is the former chairman of private equity firm Hicks and current chairman of Hicks Holdings. He is also the former owner of several professional sports teams including the Dallas Stars, Texas Rangers, and Liverpool Soccer Club.
The Crespi-Hicks Estate, commissioned by Italian Count Pio Crespi, was the last residential creation of architect Maurice Fatio before his death in 1943. When the Hicks purchased the property 16 years ago, they enlisted architect Peter Marino to restore it. The process reportedly took nearly a decade and as much as $100 million.
Among the home’s outrageous amenities are a a library paneled in 19th-century Italian walnut and burl, a main kitchen tiled in 10th-century Dutch Delft manganese tiles, a mirrored art-deco bar room, and an exercise room. The pool house boasts an outdoor living room and kitchen, an indoor catering kitchen, a massive game room, and a home theater spanning an entire floor. The grounds encompass two guest houses, a tennis court, several greenhouses, a tree house, rose and vegetable gardens, and a second hidden driveway entrance onto the property.
“In this home, one experiences an awe-inspiring majesty along with a gentle warmth and intimacy. The formal rooms have accommodated throngs of guests and received United States Presidents and international dignitaries,” writes Douglas Newby, the real estate agent representing the property, adding that the home is “warm and fun.”
According to Dallas real estate blogger Candy Evans, land in Mayflower Estates commands a lofty $2 million per acre, accounting for $50 million of the asking price; the buildings are valued at $85 million. Mayflower Estates is home to Dallas’ richest and most powerful residents, including former President George W. Bush who is rumored to have moved here to be close to the Hicks family. The home is minutes from downtown Dallas.
It’s not necessarily surprising that the opulent spread has come to market now — and toting such a stratospheric price tag. Billionaires have been plunking down extravagant sums for trophy homes the country over since 2011, injecting would-be sellers with confidence to try their hands at turning a hefty home sale profit. Since the beginning of January alone, two confirmed record-breaking sales have transpired: a $27 million Miami, Fla. penthouse purchase (the area’s highest price ever paid for an apartment) and a $75 million Malibu, Calif. beach house purchase (the city’s most expensive sale ever). And if the blogosphere is indeed correct and a Woodside, Calif. house fetched $117.5 million, then the country even has a new most expensive home sale.
At $135 million, the mega mansion’s asking price tops the $125 million Fleur de Lys estate in Los Angeles, which has been the single most expensive home publicly listed for sale since Miami’s Casa Casuarina reduced its price tag to $100 million in November. Other uber expensive listings include the $100 million CitySpire penthouse in New York City, two additional $95 million apartments in New York, and the $95 million Beverly House in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Traditionally-built with a countryside outlook
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There is a large garage with planning permission for further development which will include two double garages and an apartment above.
The house has a stunning entrance hall with hardwood parquet flooring throughout and a feature oak staircase with handmade wrought-iron balustrade.
The lounge has a fireplace built in limestone and granite with a limestone-flagged hearth incorporating a wood-burning stove. There is open-plan access through into the kitchen/dining/family room.
This feature room which occupies the full width of the property has hardwood parquet flooring throughout.
The dining area is dual aspect and has ample space for large table and chairs.
The kitchen is fitted with a range of modern cabinets with matching fascias and hardwood surfaces, a black four-oven range cooker with granite and stone surround beneath an oak lintel with brickwork above. An oak door opens into the pantry.
There is a conservatory with full-height window to the rear overlooking the garden and countryside beyond.
On the first floor is a spacious landing providing an extravagant approach to the bedrooms and bathroom. A feature stained-glass window has an oak surround.
Bedroom one has sliding doors to the rear which open on to a balcony, which has far-reaching views over the garden towards the surrounding countryside. There is also an en-suite shower room.
Bedroom two has an en-suite shower room and there are two further bedrooms.
The family bathroom has a free-standing double-ended bath, wash hand basin and wc all in white, plus a ceramic tiled floor.
The attic room has roof-set window to the rear and eaves storage throughout. Plumbing has been facilitated for an en suite.
Outside is an area laid to chippings providing off-road parking for two cars. A granite and stone wall with timber gate to side opens into the front garden which has areas laid to lawn and chippings together with paving.
The rear garden is laid to lawn and overlooks the surrounding South Hams countryside. At the end of the garden is a stone-built summerhouse with French windows.