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…

Bjarke Ingels Group

Telus Sky BIGPhoto: Telus Sky/Calgary

West 57 BIGPhoto: West57/New York

Homebase: Copenhagen
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

Zaha Hadid

1000 museum zaha hadid 2 Photo: 1000 Museum/Miami

520 West 28th Street Zaha HadidPhoto: 520 West 28th Street, New York

Homebase: London
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

Rafael Vinoly

rafael vinoly tokyo international forumPhoto: Tokyo International Forum, Tokyo/Wiki Commons

Curve_Leicester_full_panorama Photo: Curve Theatre, Leicester/WikiCommons

432 park 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

dancing-dragons adrian smith gordon gillRendering: Dancing Dragons, Seoul/Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architects

kingdom-towerRendering: Kingdom Tower, Jeddah/Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

Homebase: Chicago
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

Foster and Partners 425 Park AvenueRendering: 425 Park Avenue, New York/Foster + Partners

hermitage plaza foster and partnersRendering: Hermitage Plaza, Paris/Foster + Partners

Homebase: London
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

Perez-Art-Museum-herzogPhoto: Perez Art Museum, Miami/Iwan Baan

herzog and de meuron birdsnestPhoto: 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.

Morris Adjmi Architects

2030 Atlantic PlumbingRendering: 2030 Atlantic Plumbing, Manhattan

408 greenwich morris adjmi Photo: 408 Greenwich, Manhattan/Morris Adjmi

wythe hotelPhoto: 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.

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