With condominium residents and retail tenants moved into Great Gulf's 76-storey One Bloor East at Toronto's Yonge and Bloor intersection, another finishing touch is being added to the base of the Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed tower. Earlier this week, the first parts of a 31 metre-tall sculpture by artist Ron Arad appeared alongside the podium's Bloor Street frontage, a work to be known as Safe Hands.

One Bloor East, Great Gulf, Ron Arad, Safe Hands, public art, TorontoRon Arad's "Safe Hands" at One Bloor East, image by Craig White

Similar in concept to Arad’s 2016 Spyre installation at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, England, the dynamic, twisting art installation has been in development since a contract was awarded to Arad in March of 2014. The installation is officially described as “two 31-metre-tall stacks of metal tubing will sway back and forth like dancing robotic arms. At times the pillars will seem close to toppling over, but passersby can trust the artwork to stand strong—hence its name, Safe Hands.”

One Bloor East, Great Gulf, Ron Arad, Safe Hands, public art, TorontoRon Arad's "Safe Hands" at One Bloor East, image by Craig White

The two moving towers are being assembled in sections as they climb towards their 31-metre heights. Each tower has had three sections installed, and will grow taller as additional sections are bolted into place. The existing sections of the installation are currently wrapped in a blue protective sheathing, which will eventually be pulled away to reveal the reflective metallic finish depicted in renderings and video.

One Bloor East, Great Gulf, Ron Arad, Safe Hands, public art, TorontoRon Arad's "Safe Hands" at One Bloor East, image by Craig White

A few projected completion dates—one as early as 2015—have come and gone in the over four years since the installation was announced. The video below offers a preview of how the installation will twist and turn once it i fully operational.

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.