Ever since the L Tower's first few above ground floors began to take shape in the early spring of this year, UrbanToronto forum members have been scrambling to make sense of the concrete columns and naked rebar rising from the corner of Yonge Street and The Esplanade in downtown Toronto. The 58-storey condominium tower, developed by Cityzen, Fernbrook Homes, and Castlepoint Realty Partners, and designed by celebrity architect Daniel Libeskind, has endured more scrutiny than most for both its controversial original design and for the equally controversial changes to it, but the exact shape that the deign would finally take has been somewhat of a mystery. While we have understood the broad stokes of the design, the nitty gritty remained a bit elusive, and UrbanToronto is all about the nitty gritty.

The broadest of the broad strokes was this: the building's podium was originally meant to house a multicultural community centre and museum, but funding for that component never materialized, and the sweeping lower floors were cut when the bottom was redesigned to house more condominium units instead.

The original design, appearing to some as a giant boot trying to squash the O'Keefe/Hummingbird/Sony Centre that the project is attached to, was all curves. Those curves included a canoe-shaped chamfer at the southwest corner of the tower where the residential lobby doors will be, and it was that chamfer the most observers were expecting to see take shape as the building rose from the ground this spring. What we got, however, was an unexpected pair of angled columns, still creating a chamfer at the corner, but not promising a canoe shape. Here is a shot by UrbanToronto member Drum118 from May 11th:

L Tower's lowest floors rise above ground, 2011.05.11. Image by Drum118L Tower's lowest floors rise above ground, 2011.05.11. Image by Drum118

While the earlier set of renderings for the L Tower were well known here by their appearance now and again through UrbanToronto's thread for the project, quality renderings for the redesign of the project have been harder to find. The angled columns demanded a more thorough search however, and we are happy to report that we have them now, and we can see on the construction site what they are promising: a new angular approach to the entire base, all curves gone. Compare the new rendering here, with the older rendering (clearer than the new one, actually), below.

Facing L Tower's chamfered southwest corner, new plan. Image courtesy of CityzenFacing L Tower's chamfered southwest corner, new plan. Image courtesy of Cityzen, Fernbrook Homes, and Castlepoint

Facing L Tower's chamfered southwest corner, original plan. Image courtesy of CiFacing L Tower's chamfered southwest corner, original plan. Image courtesy of Cityzen, Fernbrook Homes, and Castlepoint

Take a look at a June 6th image by UrbanToronto member Jasonzed, where the now taller angular columns reconfirm what we saw in May.

Facing L Tower's southwest corner and the angled columns, 2011.06.06. Image by JFacing L Tower's southwest corner and the angled columns, 2011.06.06. Image by Jasonzed

You can get a better idea of the whole plan for the project's street realm, as well as its skyline presence, in the set of new renderings uploaded to UrbanToronto's dataBase entry for the L Tower. Click on the box below to go to the entry, and when you are taken to the page, click on the thumbnails to expand the renderings. Enjoy it: the new dataBase is there to give you fast access to all the key facts and best images of each project we are following.