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Thread: International Starchitects to Toronto

  1. #16


    Should('nt) Robert Stern count as an "international starchitect"?

  2. #17


    Yes, Stern, and we forgot Leibskind...

  3. #18


    Stern's a starchitect, but not exactly of the Pritzker Prize kind, I don't think. He's more famous for his books than his buildings. As for KPF, of course they're not hacks but I don't think RBC is their best work. They're also not up to the standard of Pei or Mies.

  4. Default

    As for KPF, of course they're not hacks but I don't think RBC is their best work. They're also not up to the standard of Pei or Mies.
    I was impressed with their designs in the 80's, when their work was distinctive. I'm not saying what they do now is bad...it's just more generic.

  5. #20


    Quote Originally Posted by CanadianNational View Post
    Thanks for the reminder that we do have a Foster. It's so underwhelming you have to wonder what the problem was. Budget? Care? Compared to his other projects around the world, it's blatantly, almost perversely dull. I can't help but feel he might have been more constrained here than usual, and just handed the darn thing over to his students.
    I think it works pretty well. Of course the space is restricted and the budget was tight but the pods give it a je ne sais quoi. I've seen worse Foster buildings done on a university budget - see his library at LSE.

    Same for Thom Mayne. He made it clear that disappointing details like the windows were not his choice, but were dictated by budget.

  6. Default


    re: Pharmacy

    It is not terrible, though two or three details stood out in particularly bad ways - 1) ceiling tiles - painfully budget, and the way they meet up from the pod walkways to the podium is particularly bad; 2) painted walls and 3) gypsum cladding for the pods. The latter is rather horrid to look at. And yes, the concrete pillars lack exactedness one would expect from a Foster project as well - if only they could be more like the agilia concrete used at Sherbourne Commons.

    re: Morphosis Grad House - he more or less said that the budget he got for the project buys parking garages (!) in SoCal.

    Last edited by AlvinofDiaspar; 2012-Mar-13 at 11:59.

  7. #22


    Would it be feasible for the city to offer a tax rebate to developments that have a design contest like Absolute in Mississauga? Obviously Starchitects aren't cheap, but a few more iconic buildings would through increased tourism replace those tax revenues. You cannot underestimate the importance of architecture in attracting tourists and building a global brand. We need to do this fast before this latest crop of 70-80 story builings break ground. For example - those twin towers near the Gardiner close to Harbord.

  8. #23


    When it comes to twinsets, and our Twinset District, we're in a slightly different position from Mississauga - Yansong Ma's two towers put them on the map ( not counting their City Hall ... ) and they put Yansong Ma on the map. But I agree that international design competitions are fun - Toronto has been holding them since Cumberland and Storm were selected to design St. James's Cathedral in 1850 - though they're clearly not necessary: Gehry was annointed to design the AGO addition without one, for instance, and the ROM Crystal was selected from a large field and still has its share of quite vocal detractors.

  9. #24


    Maybe its more the Chicago model I'm seeking where it seems proposals have to get over more review hurdles. Or possibly its the expectations of the populace which developers rise to.

  10. #25


    One forgotten starchitect gesture in Toronto: Aldo Rossi's pavilion at the RC Harris plant grounds in 1988. (Supposedly it was dismantled for reerection elsewhere, though I don't know what happened to it)

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