Architecture

Best in Class

Vision Statement

Best in class condominium living and resident satisfaction elevated by professional management and seamless delivery of building maintenance, services and care. 

Design Awards

The dramatic Absolute Towers that have transformed the skyline of Mississauga, west of Toronto have won an international award.

Visible for miles, the curvaceous twin structures, dubbed the “Marilyn Munroe” building, have won one of four 2012 regional awards from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). The 56 and 50-storey residential towers won as “Best Tall Building Americas.” They measure 179.5 metres and 158 metres.

The three other regional winners are for Asia/Australia (1 Bligh Street, Sydney), Europe (Palazzo Lombardia, Milan), and Middle East/Africa (Doha Tower/Burj Qatar). The four will compete for “Best Tall Building Worldwide” to be named in October at a ceremony at the Illinois Institute for Technology in Chicago.

Our Strategies

Foster collaboration, accountability, and a vibrant building culture through education and engagement with residents, and partners, enhancing building design and enriching the community 

Developer Story

In 2004, an international design competition was held to select the architect for the fourth tower for Absolute World. Yansong Ma, founder of the MAD office, Beijing/China architectural design firm was announced the winner. Sales were to start in May 2007 with construction beginning later that year, and anticipated completion in 2009. Within days of the announcement, the taller building had been nicknamed the “Marilyn Monroe” tower due to its curvaceous, hourglass figure likened to actress Marilyn Monroe. Burka Varacalli Architects, a Toronto firm, was hired as MAD’s local partner in April 2007.

On June 14, 2012, the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH), a non-profit group of architects and engineers, reported that the towers were among the world’s best new skyscrapers. The building would also win the Emporis Skyscraper Award in 2012. 

Building Concept

Fondly dubbed the Marylyn Monroe towers by local residents, the Absolute Towers parallel the twisting fluidity or natural lines found in life. This activation of flow forms an organic punctuation in the landscape and a desire for an urban acknowledgement of enthusiasm. Here, we thrive to challenge the sustenance of commonplace boxy skyscrapers.

Our ambition was to provide each resident a unique experience of the city, a heterarchitical distribution. Continuous balconies widen individual viewing angles and promote community at the micro scale of a single floor. At the macro, the cadence of the floors rising into the sky echo the modular rhythms of the human experience, yet emphasizes the movement of an adoring figure. We hope this building can wake up metropolitans’ desires towards nature, such as sun and wind, and certainly, human bodies. Like other suburbs in North America, Mississauga, near Toronto, has been quickly developing into an independent, urbanized area. 

Yet, the cityscape lacked a unique character. In response, we wanted to add something naturalistic, delicate and human in contrast to the backdrop of listless, boxy buildings. Sited at the junction of two main streets (Hurontario and Burnhamthorpe), the Absolute Towers gracefully bear their landmark status and act as a gateway to the city beyond.

As a residential landmark that strives for more than simple efficiency, the buildings provide residents an emotional connection to their hometown and neighbours. Eschewing the tradition of accentuated verticality in high-rises, the Absolute Towers choose not to emphasize vertical lines. Instead, the design features a smooth, unbroken balcony that wraps each floor of the building.

In addition, at each successive level, the floor plate rotates in a range of one to eight degrees affording breathtaking panoramas of the Mississauga skyline concluding in reverence to the principle street intersection at its peak. By maximizing the viewing potentials inside and out, creating a wonderful medium for social interaction throughout the balconies, and connecting the city dwellers with naturalistic design principles, Mississauga is infused with a new character.

In place of the basic, functional logic of an aging modernism, the current trend of sustainable design is reminiscent of the sudden rise in the glass-faced boxy buildings of last century. Sustainability, in concept, is often unfortunately simplified to the lowest common denominator. If we limit the scope of sustainable ecology to energy savings, it will become merely a demand for comfort while the yearning of a return to nature is ignored. This design practice remains the axiom of the industrial revolution, man controls nature.

We feel sustainability is a much greater concept which can guide a new culture of design resulting in real change. For instance, in traditional Chinese gardens, building and nature elements are integrated to create a spiritual and poetic environment fostering great literature, poem and music, or simply life and philosophy. Our approach, ergo, is to create a balanced environment that evokes the feeling of exploring nature while simultaneously a responsive model for the development of urban space in harmony with nature. A sustainable architecture in modern concept. Real sustainability results in a harmonious civilization. This is the biggest challenge of our time. How do we rebuild urban environments with life and emotion where people are connected and respected?

The torsional form of the towers is underpinned with a surprisingly simply and inexpensive structural solution. The two residential towers are supported by a grid of concrete load bearing walls. The bearing walls extend and contract in response to the sectional fluctuation created by the rotation of the floors while the balconies consist of cantilevered concrete slabs. In order to ensure the elegant edge profiles are as thin as possible, there is a thermal break in the slabs at the exterior glazing such that the insulation need not wrap the entirety of the balconies. Meanwhile, the dynamically fluid shaping of the towers, naturally aerodynamic, adeptly handles wind loading and ensures comfort throughout all the balconies. Besides providing every resident with a nice exterior place to enjoy views of Mississauga, the balconies naturally shade the interior from the summer sun while soaking in the winter sun, reducing air conditioning costs. 

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