The Heap Hotel

The Heap Hotel

by Heeyoung Cho & Percy Yeung


Site Context

The history of King street west and Spadina avenue being at the heart of the garment district is something that is hardly recognized past the large thimble further north on Spadina avenue. The once booming garment industry that dominated the area is reduced to a few store fronts selling leathers, coats, and fabric. The photos show the lack of presence of the garment district with the current exploration of what has replaced it.

The larger structure on the site, was the Spadina hotel, before the tech education center and the youth hostel. While prior to the coffee shop the small structure was a music venue named the “Cabana Room.” This building was a place for gathering had strong ties to the community which we want to bring back.

Looking at the activities and proximity of entertainment in the area has lead us to target people aged 25-50 looking to be enjoy the immediate area. The appeal of the eclectic restaurants and entertainment of arts and theatre attracts said demographic.

460 King Street West, Toronto

Located at the intersection of Spadina avenue and King street west, the immediate site is chalk full of activity from transit to services and amenities. With many trendy shops to fill the day such as cycling studios and restaurants and coffee shops fuel up King street west is an area that bring people from all over Toronto. The area is also surrounded by many offices in historic mid-rise buildings that draw large crowds during business hours.

Photo Essay

Physical context of the area is outlined in the photos with brick, stone, and glass heavy materiality of the surrounding buildings. As well as the midrise buildings comprised of restaurants, coffee shops, services at the bottom and offices or condos above.

Traveling in the area can is exclusively street cars on King street which make it more friendly for people exploring on foot. Compared to Spadina avenue with the wide streets filled with street car and 6 lanes for vehicles.

Concept Drawings

The concept development began with the organic material flowing onto the existing building. There was a progression to the elevation where the existing building would represent the past and as it progresses upward it would represent the current state of the garment district.

Initially, the new building would encompass the existing brick structure but this would not respect the history of the building and site. The new addition progressed from a single uniform design to staggered fragments to better fit the concept.

Forms of the exterior are separated from the new and old to show the difference the state of the garment district has changed. The existing building shows the past with its natural elements preserved. The addition of the hotel rooms represents a transition to the current disjointed state of the garment district with the exterior of the rooms appearing fragmented.

Concept Model

When looking at the current context of the site we wanted to celebrate the history of the garment district and make a meaningful reference while acknowledging the present. The hotel is at the heart of the garment district, while the presence of the garment industry is no longer noticed. The once dominating fashion and production companies have been reduced to a miniscule piece to a once larger whole. This notion of a small piece lead to the concept of scrap fabric.

Constructing the model began with molding and deforming material into a fabric like structure. The material we used was reused from outdated sample materials. Next we layered the structure with discarded fabric to put together the flowing shape with pieces that appear to have been in the midst of being thrown away. The contrast of motion in the pieces of fabric that curl up and down with flatter pieces looking stacked together.

Planning & Stacking

The scrap fabric concept permeates into the interior, with hotel rooms being stitched together as different sizes and shapes. This has led to each room being a different experience every time. This excitement from dynamic room reflects the dynamic experience the target guests are looking for when they stay at this hotel.

Beginning at the first floor being the most public, comprises of the lobby with the check in and lounge area for the guests and retail and coffee shop for the public. Progressing to the 2nd floor becomes semipublic with the restaurant and studio space, connecting the space is a nylon humidity control system. The studio space hosts events for crafts people to teach and design material to sell in the retail space on the first floor. Moving to the 3rd floor, is semi-private with the business center for hotel guests and their guests. Also on the 3rd floor is the indoor outdoor patio with a bar for casual drinks and small eats. Onto the 4th-7th floors, are the private hotel rooms.


Reception, Lounge & Cafe, Washroom, Retail Store, Studio, Staff Area, Business Centre, Restaurant, Outdoor Terrace, Fitness and Hotel Rooms

Floor Plans

7 Storey Building


Using Format