News   Aug 07, 2020
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News   Aug 07, 2020
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    Toronto | Pinnacle One Yonge | 312.5m | 95s | Pinnacle | Hariri Pontarini

    This pathological tendency to cheap everything out is a peculiarly Canadian trait. It honestly baffles me. "Shimmering glass is too extravagant, so tasteless grey spandrel is the way to go." How pathetic.
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    Toronto | Britt Condos, The | 142m | 41s | Lanterra | IBI Group

    For all their typical-Toronto blandness, at least the residential projects we built prior to ~ the new millennium had a modicum of decency and dignity, with their solid walls and sharp lines. The grey spandrel-wrapped junk we're putting up today was simply not a thing back then. To be clear, my...
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    Toronto | Britt Condos, The | 142m | 41s | Lanterra | IBI Group

    Absolutely horrendous. Architectural standards in Toronto have declined dramatically in the last two decades alone.
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    Toronto | CIBC SQUARE | 241.39m | 50s | Hines | WilkinsonEyre

    And that's exactly the problem. Many of us still see condos from a purely utilitarian perspective as "assets" and "investments", rather than "contributions to the urban community". Parsimony seems to be ingrained in the general mentality of Toronto, which has historically been a marginal...
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    Toronto | CIBC SQUARE | 241.39m | 50s | Hines | WilkinsonEyre

    Buildings like this should remind us in Toronto that, if we really bothered to put in the effort, we are just as capable of architectural excellence as other major cities. And it's up to all of us: if we the "clients" do not demand better from our developers, what incentive is there to stop them...
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    Toronto | River City Condos Phase 3 | 100m | 29s | Urban Capital | Saucier + Perrotte

    A stunning building combining good taste overall, innovative design, and a high-quality selection of materials. River City, a refreshing contrast from the spandrel-laced aesthetic obscenities that have invaded the GTA over the past decade-and-a-half, would not be out of place in Scandinavia.
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    Toronto | Wesley Tower at Daniels City Centre | ?m | 43s | Daniels | Rafael + Bigauskas

    PSV 1 and 2 are pretty awful, too, with their clunky, mismatched lines of alternating white concrete and charcoal grey spandrel. These tall obscenities are a blight on an otherwise dignified, if not spectacular, Mississauga skyline.
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    Toronto | Wesley Tower at Daniels City Centre | ?m | 43s | Daniels | Rafael + Bigauskas

    Pink spandrel = simultaneous fancy blandness.
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    Toronto | Daniels Waterfront - City of the Arts | 156m | 45s | Daniels | RAW Design

    Don't bet on it. This city will cheapen every ambitious plan to the point of irrelevant mediocrity. St. Lawrence Market north, anyone?
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    Toronto | Massey Tower Condos | 206.95m | 60s | MOD Developments | Hariri Pontarini

    Notwithstanding its (relatively minor) imperfections, the Massey Tower is a decently executed building. The curvatures are very sleek, and the historical restoration has been done in good taste. I'm particularly fond of the crown and lighting. A complete antidote to the muddled mess that is YC...
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    Toronto | YC Condos -- Yonge at College | 198m | 62s | Canderel | Graziani + Corazza

    The tower itself is clumsy enough aesthetically, but as countless posters have mentioned, the podium is utterly revolting. Cluttered grey-orange paneling, tacky materials, and shoddy quality of build...this is nothing short of an offense to those who must walk past this stretch of downtown on a...
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    Parkside Village: Avia 1 & 2 (Block 1 E, MCC, Amacon, 7+8+38+50s, ?)

    They better not repeat this mess of a tower. It really is a blight on an otherwise inoffensive, if bland, Mississauga skyline (I visit the place often). The architect's deliberate asymmetry, not to mention the tacky charcoal spandrel, is just plain uncool.
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    TVO: What's Wrong With Toronto Condos?

    To illustrate some of my points, here are two recent condo developments in Mississauga's Parkside Village. Neither are exemplars of stellar design, but even little details can make a huge difference. This is one of the earlier phases. Two bland boxes, yes, but solidly executed nonetheless...
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    TVO: What's Wrong With Toronto Condos?

    Interesting how you mention "architectural deceit". From my own observations, a glass building would look far less offensive if it was actually all-glass and not the window-on-opaque-wall mess that is dark-grey spandrel (the result of which is very cheap-looking). Perhaps one redeeming feature...
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    Toronto | ZEN King West | 103m | 31s | CentreCourt | IBI Group

    I feel like the disdain for extravagance is something uniquely Anglo-Protestant (with no offense intended). "Beauty for the sake of beauty" in the Anglican/Presbyterian mentality is seen as a needless frill. Of course, you have exceptions like Australia where perhaps the climate makes everyone...
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    TVO: What's Wrong With Toronto Condos?

    We're certainly getting a larger number of standouts, namely Mizrahi's The One, Mirvish + Gehry, and Bjarke Ingels, perhaps a natural outcome of Toronto's increasing economic/demographic clout. As for the overall quality of architecture, however, our current vogue of cheap, cluttered...
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    TVO: What's Wrong With Toronto Condos?

    The 1960s were a more heroic time for Toronto and Canada in general. Coming out of the Depression and WWII, our leaders back then had the hunger to strive forward with unabashed boldness and optimism. Just look at when the vast majority of our infrastructure and transit was built. This...
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    TVO: What's Wrong With Toronto Condos?

    It’s almost paradoxical given our diversity and prosperity that there is almost no reflection of that in our built form. Will this “cultural DNA” thing change with the multicultural young generation? That’s what I believe will really make or break our attitudes toward civic responsibility in the...
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    TVO: What's Wrong With Toronto Condos?

    And when somebody like this visionary architect at the exciting new firm PARTISANS courageously attempts to change the conversation of city-building here in Toronto, we smack his ideas down. We shrink into a fatalistic state of "things will never get better because they haven't in the past"...

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