Bay Adelaide Centre | 217.92m | 51s | Brookfield Property | KPMB

NBGtect

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Was going to say the same that they are nice background buildings. The heritage building restoration is top shelf here. That's the exciting part of this whole project. If every decent historical structure on Yonge was cleaned up and restored like this and Five, I'd be in heaven.
 

renvel

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Historical Yonge

Was going to say the same that they are nice background buildings. The heritage building restoration is top shelf here. That's the exciting part of this whole project. If every decent historical structure on Yonge was cleaned up and restored like this and Five, I'd be in heaven.

...So would I ...
 

TDotTeen

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Lastly I'll close by saying this - the architecture is one component, but for anyone that has done any business with any firms located in the BAC, the quality of the office space is 100% AAA and in my opinion second to none in the downtown core. At the end of the day this is a AAA space in which some of the top firms in the city are located in due to location & quality of space - the offices are really showcase spaces due to the quality of the project (in fact many firms from the traditional MINT towers built in the 70s & 80s are moving to the so called architecturally boring new towers because the quality of space is much higher).... architecture is a critical component to city building, but some people posting here are pretty jaded with their comments - this project provides high quality top notch space that ranks up there with anything being built today in the US.

Just a note on this. Many people on this board seem to separate functionality from architecture completely. What they fail to understand is that functionality is architecture. Being an architect is about much more than designing the "look" of a building. So while it is true that this tower may be architecturally boring, that isn't the same thing as saying that it is architecturally bad. From the rest of your comment, I'd be inclined to say the opposite. An office building that provides quality office space is good architecture, even if it isn't the most exciting thing to look at.

Of course, that isn't to say that creating visual interest isn't a part of an architect's job. But to act as if all the architect does is design a shell and hand it over to the engineers to make it work is wrong.

I feel like I'm on a crusade against the forum tonight, sorry haha. I agree with the rest of your post.
 

modernizt

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Just a note on this. Many people on this board seem to separate functionality from architecture completely. What they fail to understand is that functionality is architecture. Being an architect is about much more than designing the "look" of a building. So while it is true that this tower may be architecturally boring, that isn't the same thing as saying that it is architecturally bad. From the rest of your comment, I'd be inclined to say the opposite. An office building that provides quality office space is good architecture, even if it isn't the most exciting thing to look at.

Completely agreed but I feel like this post conflicts a bit with your views on recreating heritage (from the other thread). (Recreating a heritage aesthetic vs. creating functional, useable spaces that take advantage of the latest in people-oriented design).
 

TDotTeen

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Completely agreed but I feel like this post conflicts a bit with your views on recreating heritage (from the other thread). (Recreating a heritage aesthetic vs. creating functional, useable spaces that take advantage of the latest in people-oriented design).

Haha I was actually expecting someone to point out the apparent disagreement between my posts. In my opinion thoughh, there is no disagreement. For an office space, the number one concern is efficiency (space, energy, etc.). From this point of view the aesthetics are irrelevant. However, another key aspect of any building is one's experience with it, from the inside and out. So, while I don't think that this building is bad architecturally, it's also probably not going down as one of the best buildings of all time. To be exceptional, functionality and aesthetic design need to be combined.

This is even more important for residential buildings. Since the function of a residential building is to provide a living space for people, comfort and experience are much more important, and are in fact integral to the successful functioning of the building. Where an office building can be a success if it is ugly but efficient, no one wants to live in a space just because the floor space is maximized, or it doesn't consume much energy. Both of these elements are important, but they don't matter if the experience of the building is unpleasant. Thus, I think we should focus much more on this experience.

The reason I advocate for a return to some architectural practices that might be classified as "heritage" is because these styles seem to be much more successful in the experience category. It seems that what has happened in modern architecture is that efficiency, and "purity" of design have completely replaced the focus on experience. In an office setting this may be excusable, but in other forms of architecture, such as residential, it is not.

Hope I'm making sense.
 

modernizt

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This is even more important for residential buildings. Since the function of a residential building is to provide a living space for people, comfort and experience are much more important, and are in fact integral to the successful functioning of the building.

Tell that to someone who works 9-5 in an office environment and/or spends more time in their office than they do at home in a residential unit.

Ironically / contrary to your argument, the office buildings we have look the way they do largely based on a one-size-fits-all approach from developers, in order for them to spend less but still create space that is appealing enough to be rented out by various companies for their workers; and the idea of architecture that encourages productivity from workers is still a tough sell. A lot of LEED and other new building grading systems make an attempt to promise "increased productivity" from workers but it's hard to pin that down or measure it with any real metrics that can be tied to design. Meanwhile, residential developments have the modern all-glass look they have come to feature in Toronto because of pressure directly from buyers who want to have endless views and no solid walls on the perimeters of their units. It is that exact demand for comfort and views and delight that has led to this style of residential building in Toronto that you have decried as snobbery. ;)

High-rise office building designs do tend to follow a pretty "functional" typology, sure, but I'm not sure that a building fitting that typology (Bay-Adelaide Centre, TD Centre, etc. etc.) is necessary the most functional in the sense that it is the best for the people who use it. It works efficiently, but even "efficiency" is subjective, or at least can be measured by many different metrics. There are plenty of office towers that work like clockwork but are not that enjoyable for the end-user. There are also a lot of fully-glazed condo buildings that are delightful to live in (despite climate problems or build-quality issues). It's not black-and-white.

I would also argue that office buildings demand visual interest and engagement, and that it should be tied to the function of the building in the same way that it should for residential buildings. The cost might be greater in monetary value, but if a developer/builder can be convinced to invest the money in better architecture, I think it's worth it. Aesthetics and function are largely inseparable in a lot of very successful projects, whether they are offices or residential units. Office buildings like Bay-Adelaide look the way they do aesthetically because the builders followed a very safe, leasable approach resulting in a building that has wide appeal to firms like KPMG or Deloitte. If it "functions" well is up to the office workers who live a large portion of their lives in these buildings and alternate between cubicles and an underground food court (to put it harshly). For me, a large part of functionality in an office building would be providing a degree of delight for the office workers, including interesting breakaway spaces and/or terraces on higher levels or throughout the building, 1) because human beings require such a thing, and 2) because it just might increase their productivity when it's all said and done. What a developer of office buildings might consider efficient and highly leasable, may not be as "functional" as you think. It's relative.

I agree with a lot of what you are saying but I'm just pointing out, once again, how things got to where they are, and how it's not as simple as "snobbery" that neo-modernism has taken a stronghold in Toronto. There are a lot of moving parts.
 
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TDotTeen

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I guess I think that sometimes (often) people don't really know what they want...now I'm starting to sound like the snob (maybe I am). But at the same time, what you're saying doesn't completely contradict my argument.

If large windows are important to the experience inside a building (personally I would prefer some walls as well, but let's just assume that the current trend exists because people like them), then that's well and good. But the experience of the outside of the building is important too. This is something I didn't touch on as much in my previous post but it is important nonetheless. It applies to office buildings as well. Many people - and in this I believe it really is many people, not just me - are quite unsatisfied with the exterior built form in this city. One of the most common complaints concerns the over-use of glass. If a certain style of architecture works well on the interior but not on the exterior, it is still flawed.

In a sense, you could say that pre-war architecture wins on the exterior, with modern architecture succeeding inside. But why settle for this, when we could combine the pluses and (ideally) eliminate the negatives to create a superior style?

PS. I don't necessarily even agree that all-glass is really what people want. Many high-end towers combine other materials at the expense of window space (many of the new supertalls in Manhattan for example). However, even if it is what people want, that doesn't necessarily make it better.

PPS. As you can probably tell, I'm still working out the details of my all-encompassing theory of architecture, please excuse any disagreements that I have not/cannot address :D
 

modernizt

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I don't expect you to settle on a particular theory or view, and your ideas will change over time. Even the greatest architects have changed and developed their theories of architecture across their careers.

I enjoy the banter and discussion. Your ideas on this are better-developed and more all-encompassing than many of my own peers in architecture school, so please keep thinking about these things. We need minds like yours!

(ps. I also agree that although a lot of buyers want all-glass condos, and that developers claim that this is why they continue to build this way in such great quantities, I don't entirely buy it either. A project with less glazing can make for a much better place to live. Again, there are so many ways of looking at it. Unfortunately, the market/economy/desire to make huge profits often limits what architectural visions become when they are distilled into their final, built form.)
 

Stupidandshallow

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Completely agreed but I feel like this post conflicts a bit with your views on recreating heritage (from the other thread). (Recreating a heritage aesthetic vs. creating functional, useable spaces that take advantage of the latest in people-oriented design).


You can still have a heritage facade with a completely modern interior that meets the needs, functionality and codes of today... What is this point, besides ridiculous. Heritage does not = nonfunctional. Your bias clearly shows.
 

modernizt

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You can still have a heritage facade with a completely modern interior that meets the needs, functionality and codes of today... What is this point, besides ridiculous. Heritage does not = nonfunctional. Your bias clearly shows.

If you see every new building project/concept as some sort of identical cookie-cutter size/massing/program that we can just wrap a heritage facade around, then I'm afraid your bias is that you have no idea of how buildings are designed. Also, stop thinking of the exterior and interior as two separate entities. There are lots of things a "heritage facade" cannot achieve that a modern building envelope can.

I enjoy a nice, respectful discussion (as with the fellow above), but if you are going to display a lack of understanding of design process but call me out for my opinion/views/approach to design (as you call it, my "bias"), then I'm going to call you out on yours. Everyone has a bias. I'm not sure why my "bias" is so upsetting to you since I defend the retention of heritage facades time and time again. The inclusion of them makes for a more interesting building most of the time. But saving/integrating heritage where appropriate is a different matter altogether than a new build and tacking some faux-1800s-style visuals onto its exterior.

Everybody is biased one way or another at the end of the day, hopefully biased towards an informed view that looks for the best approach, while keeping an open mind. I like to think that my bias is based on education and practice, as well as discussion, debate, and critique, even if I have many years ahead to continue learning. Instead of inflammatory "YOU'RE BIASED! posts, why not attempt to have a discussion about why I hold a particular view or bias toward a certain type of design and explore that?
 
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Stupidandshallow

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If you see every new building project/concept as some sort of identical cookie-cutter size/massing/program that we can just wrap a heritage facade around, then I'm afraid your bias is that you have no idea of how buildings are designed.

Also, stop thinking of the exterior and interior as two separate entities. There are lots of things a "heritage facade" cannot achieve that a modern building envelope can.

I enjoy a nice, respectful discussion (as with the fellow above), but if you are going to display a lack of understanding of design process but call me out for some apparent "bias", then I'm going to call you out on it.

I'm also unsure why my "bias" is so upsetting to you since I defend the retention of heritage facades time and time again. The inclusion of them makes for a more interesting building most of the time. But saving/integrating heritage where appropriate is a different matter altogether than a new build and tacking some faux-1800s-style visuals onto its exterior.

Everybody is biased one way or another at the end of the day. I like to think that my bias is based on education and practice, as well as discussion, debate, and critique, even if I have many years ahead to continue learning.

Yes, I have no idea...

Well, admittedly in another thread you expressed that you are partial to neo-modernism... even your screen handle suggests that.

Your comment that I quoted above also suggests that a heritage aesthetic is not functional usable space... that simply isn't true. FYI. I don't appreciate being told how to think: "show me, don't tell me"... On that note, I live in a neighbourhood where many homeowners (myself included) have completely modernized the interiors and mechanics of their 19th century homes... Obviously tastes change, people evolve and technology advances... we have different building codes now and needs (ie. the steepness of the original stairs do not meet today's codes; the separate rooms aren't trendy or don't speak to today's living where parents like to have sight lines on their children or people just like expansive rooms...).

My point is: the exterior can be completely separate from the interior and not relate at all.. This clearly veers off topic.

I still think this office building is a turd aesthetically. It might meet all sorts of environmental standards but I still think it's boring and forgettable and I bet other non-architects will probably pass it by everyday and not even look up once at it.
 

modernizt

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If you try to understand my entire argument by quoting one sentence from this thread and then calling me out, then you are not doing your homework.

Re: the fact that I am partial to modernism-- in the other thread where these issues are discussed, I also critiqued why neo-modernism is problematic, despite the fact that I do like the aesthetic, when it's done well (and that in school I find myself unlearning various aspects of neo-modernism to embrace new approaches, especially with regards to the environment). Furthermore, being partial to modernism/neo-modernism as my personal taste does not mean I think every building should be a neo-modernist design.

Re: homes in your neighbourhood. That's an entirely different context than 1) a new build, or 2) a large-scale project such as an office tower or condominium tower. So no, for large projects, the exterior and interior are not separate entities and a modern envelope can be used to accomplish many things that an older style of facade cannot. Once again, I didn't say that re-using old facades is wrong. I have been trying to explain why you don't see many new buildings where the exterior is treated separately from the rest of the design of the structure/interior/building at large and has the visuals of a classical building.

You also seem to have read into my posts above (or didn't read them at all, apparently) that I think this building is visually engaging, or some sort of architectural masterpiece or that architects everywhere love it. None of those things are true. (In fact, if you read my posts, you'd see that I'm not a big fan of the project.)

Moving on.
 
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steveve

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Nice photos ^

From yesterday:

16608967009_cfb42e2282_c.jpg
 

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