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Rethinking the lobby

Junction House was mentioned in the National Post this week as part of an article talking about how residential lobbies are being reconsidered. The article is by Lisa Van de Ven.

Transit City in Vaughan is providing direct access to an adjacent Buca restaurant. 55C in Yorkville is providing refrigerated storage space for perishable deliveries. And Junction House is incorporating a co-working space on the ground floor overlooking Dundas St W. We wanted it to have real utility (a place to work and hang out), but also serve to foster a sense of community within the building.

I have long been a fan of hotel lobby bars. They’re a place for social interaction, as well as a place for chance encounters. One of the best in the city is perhaps the Lobby Lounge (or “urban living room“) at the Shangri-La.

Of course, part of their success is aided by the fact that hotels are, by their very nature, transient places. And that transience can often encourage people to be more open. That makes the spaces more social. You also have the benefit of an operator (i.e. a bar/restaurant), which is what Transit City is leveraging with Buca.

Residential lobbies aren’t quite the same, but there are lessons to be learned. Oben Flats has been programming the lobbies in its rental buildings for years and they are doing a great job. And with the growing interest in co-living arrangements and small space living, I am sure we’ll be seeing more, not less, lobby rethinking.

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