Architects have come from around the world to design bold and controversial buildings in Toronto.
Yes, the city’s residents continue to argue over whether the ROM’s Michael Lee Chin Crystal is an eyesore or not and even Toronto-born Frank Gehry had to water down his vision for his King West, David Mirvish-backed condo mega-project. Regardless, Toronto’s reputation as an architectural hot spot is growing.
While the urban landscape is already peppered with aesthetic stunners and the occasional esoteric head-scratcher from architects from across Canada and around the world, we feel like the skyline would benefit from additions by a few big international names. Like who? Well, we have a few ideas…
Photo: Telus Sky/Calgary
Photo: West57/New York
Other major works: Zira Island, Superkilen public park in Copenhagen, Vancouver House condo project in downtown Vancouver, 8 House in Copenhagen
Notable awards: 2004 Golden Lion at Venice Biennale of Architecture, 2010 European Prize for Architecture, 2012 American Institute of Architects Honor Award
Ideal Toronto neighbourhood: King West
Photo: 1000 Museum/Miami
Other major works: London Aquatics Centre, Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku, Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul, Qatar World Cup Stadium (planned)
Notable awards: 2004 Pritzker Prize (the first woman to win), 2007 Thomas Jefferson Medal in Architecture, 2010 and 2011 Stirling Prize
Ideal Toronto neighbourhood: Waterfront/Queen’s Quay
Photo: Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo/Wiki Commons
Photo: Curve Theatre, Leicester/WikiCommons
Photo: 432 Park, New York/© dbox for CIM Group and Macklowe Properties
Homebase: New York
Other major works: 20 Fenchurch Street in London, Jongno Tower in Seoul, Vdara Hotel and Spa in Las Vegas, Fortabat Art Collection in Buenos Aires
Notable awards: Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, Neutra Medal for Professional Excellence
Ideal Toronto neighbourhood: Yonge and Bloor
Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill
Rendering: Dancing Dragons, Seoul/Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects
Rendering: Kingdom Tower, Jeddah/Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture
Other major works: Willis Tower “greening” project in Chicago, 1 Park Avenue in Dubai’s Jumeirah Garden master plan, Extell Tower in New York, Burj Khalifa (Adrian Smith for Skidmore, Owings and Merrill)
Notable awards: Projects that Adrian Smith has designed have won so many awards that it’s almost not even worth counting. According to his Wiki, he’s received over 125 awards, including 25 Chicago American Institute of Architects awards.
Ideal Toronto neighbourhood: Southcore
Foster + Partners
Rendering: 425 Park Avenue, New York/Foster + Partners
Rendering: Hermitage Plaza, Paris/Foster + Partners
Other major works: Wembley Stadium reconstruction, Hong Kong International Airport, The Hearst Tower in New York City
Notable awards: 1998 RIBA Stirling Prize for Imperial War Museum, 1999 Pritzker Architecture Prize, 2007 RIBA International Award for Hearst Tower,
Ideal Toronto neighbourhood: Financial District
Herzog & de Meuron
Photo: Perez Art Museum, Miami/Iwan Baan
Photo: Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium, Beijing/Hangean Luo Flickr
Homebase: Basel, Switzerland
Other major works: Tate Modern in London, M.H. de Young Memorial Museum in San Francisco, Parrish Art Museum in New York
Notable awards: 2001 Pritzker Prize, 2003 Stirling Prize for the Laban Dance Centre, 2007 RIBA Gold Medal
Ideal Toronto neighbourhood: If the AGO ever considers building an expansion, someone make sure these guys get an RFP.
Rendering: 2030 Atlantic Plumbing, Manhattan
Photo: 408 Greenwich, Manhattan/Morris Adjmi
Photo: Wythe Hotel, Brooklyn/Morris Adjmi
Homebase: New York
Other notable works: High Line Building, Scholastic Building, 16 West 21, 250 Bowery all in Manhattan
Major awards: AIA NY Merit Award for 250 Bowery and we’re betting that Adjmi and co. will be seeing plenty more in the coming years.
Ideal Toronto neighbourhood: West Queen West
Any architects you’d like to see bring their design prowess to Toronto? Let us know in the comments section.