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The building was brilliant in form but required personality and life - an image and theme which would extend to each facet of its design and amenities.
Mark Mandelbaum and Barry Fenton, founders of Lanterra Developments, developers of the project, teamed up with the knowledgeable marketing and creative team of Joe Latobesi and Andy DeSantis of Montana Steele Advertising and, prominent interior designer Alessandro Munge of munge//leung design to work with Peter Clewes.
The entire team met for countless hours to study the building and its architecture; its intricate glass exterior façade; its suite layouts and amenities; and its surroundings. Yet the question remained: How to capture it all?
No better name could capture the beauty and style of the building than MURANO. But Murano was just a name. To be meaningful, the name needed to reflect the full spectrum and meaning of the Murano art form and Italian design.
So the design team, joined by Sandy Minuk of Minuk Construction, co-developer of the project, traveled together to the original Murano.
Murano, one of the islands nestled in the lagoon of Venice, home to the 7th century church of Santi Maria e Donato, dragon bones, marbles and mosaics of griffins, peacocks and eagles, and renowned centre since the 13th century for the ancient and secret art of Venetian glass. Venetian glass is world famous - noted for its brilliance, light, imaginative forms and the spectrum of colours from deep amber to iridescent green to the rosepetal pink reminiscent of the dawn light sparkling off the waters of the lagoon to the startling clarity of black and white.
The journey then brought the team to the sweltering glass blowing shops in Murano, where they saw the full range of design possibilities for the glass-sheathed tower in Toronto.
And every texture, shape and colour inspired them: from the soaring campanile bell towers to the seductive arcs of the domes of San Marco to intricate iron work around ancient palazzo doors to the sweeping curves of the gondolas gently gliding through the canals.
This was the start. If the team could transpose the colours, shapes and art of Murano and Venice to Canada they would have the essence of a building that discerning Torontonians would truly appreciate.
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