top of page


The alleyway is the contemporary origin of urban renewal. Once an afterthought of built forms reduced to the whims of waste management, egress and buffoonery, the alley is now the city’s unadulterated treasure chest; a smorgasbord of unexpected intimate spaces, layers of graffiti, and an honest depiction of the grit of urban life.

We propose to repurpose eleven shipping containers in a configuration that maximizes the alley as a site while maintaining the intimacy of its narrow passage, installing a pre-fab system that is both efficient in construction and delightful in performance.W hile container architecture is gaining popularity internationally, our motive to deploy this pre-fab approach is driven by both the site conditions as well as the intrinsic aesthetic appeal of the industrial-modern look of the product. On one hand, the narrow dimensions of the container - 8 foot widt- are an uncanny fit for the alleyway, creating habitable spaces that leave an appropriate width for circulation, all within the tight 12 foot distance between the buildings. At the same time, the container is an adept module for both installation – substantial construction can be completed off-site and then crane-lifted into the alley – as well as mobility, if and when construction of the adjacent 555 King St W takes place.  These strategic qualities enable a container-driven proposal to not only maximize floor space when the containers are stacked, but create a cavalcade of fun-rooms that we would like to characterize as the King St playground.

The programmatic goal of our proposal is fundamentally a criticism of the bourgeoning sameness of entertainment design on King St – that the party experience has been reduced to club life ,expansive dance floors, bumping bass lines, alcohol overkill and intellectual drought. We propose to remind adults of the plethora of experiences that evoke happiness and stimulate our senses beyond the primordial booze and grind fest that empties pocketbooks and ruins weekend mornings. We are interested in fun that transcends time of day, state of intoxication and dress code – essentially, fun driven by architecture as much as the contagious spirit of people in delight. Several key zones celebrate the diversity of delightful experiences that we believe will be unexpectedly welcomed on King St: a sky-lit ball pit with an adjacent outdoor slide, a double-height reading room equipped with a Victorian-style sliding ladder and bookshelves, and an outdoor theatre courtyard furnished with adult-size, glow-in-the-dark alphabet-block-benches. We complete our programmatic array with intimate café -lounge spaces, distinguished by their adjacent light wells – vertically-oriented containers with glazed walls revealing a parametric galaxy of light polyhedra, specifically, polymer-formed truncated-octahedrons.

We believe this is the spirit of Adieu – that we can design a holistic getaway in our immediate surroundings. We want our design to not only perform as an adult theme park from within, but to serve as a beacon in the King St West community of how architectural design breeds creativity at every level. Our vertical bouquet encompassing the East Elevation is a testament to this belief, providing a serene green expanse for the adjacent apartments on 545 King West, clean air bio-filtration for the congested downtown zone and a sustainable drainage strategy for our building envelope.  Rekindling the spirit of Frederick Law Olmsted, this green strategy is part of our larger goal to design an intervention that is efficient to construct, easy to maintain, and is a dynamic contribution to a festive district in the City of Toronto. 


Hospitality & Recreation


Toronto, Ontario






225 sqm


studiovol & Studio Alibai

bottom of page