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someMidTowner

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The firms involved were told "the sky's the limit - what would you design with no limitations on cost".

Those 18 words are exactly what I have been hoping to see on UT since the day I joined.

It will likely be a few months before we see the initial results of all of that.

Ugh
My impatience is going to get the best of me on this one
 

interchange42

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The point is though that the competition did not determine a winning design - just a designer, so the final design will be subject to limitations on cost, unlike during the competition. Don't expect a building that can't be paid for.

42
 

marcus_a_j

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Ugh
My impatience is going to get the best of me on this one

What's the rush? This particular thread has 465+ posts and is over 4 years old. We have also known that the 'signature' tower for CityPlace will be largest and last to be built since the initial CityPlace concept renders were released in what, 2000? 2001? Assuming another planning process is involved, plus sales and construction, it won't be another 4-5 years until it is completed once that process begins. That's a total of 15+ years from concept to realization. I think you'll be fine if it takes a few more weeks or months before a design is revealed.
 

Ramako

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Whatever they choose, rest assured that it will be gray and coated in spandrel, as with literally every other CityPlace tower. I'm expecting a taller version of this:



http://urbantoronto.ca/news/2011/09/work-underway-concord-adexs-spectra-and-quartz-condos


Gee, I can't wait.
 

innsertnamehere

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jeez ramako, why are you so depressing today? you are normally one to like projects that most other people hate with a passion.

anyways, what this could look like as a perfect box and at 220 meters tall, with a 150 meter secondary tower.

 

Ramako

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jeez ramako, why are you so depressing today? you are normally one to like projects that most other people hate with a passion.

Yes, usually I do find a way to appreciate the buildings we get in this city, but I'm honestly tired of defending and making excuses for the mediocre bulls**t that is perpetually foisted upon us and called "architecture". The cheapening of One Bloor, a supposed signature landmark tower, sent me over the edge. Design is a total afterthought in this city; just an intangible cost/benefit factored into a pro forma. All we're doing here is following the exploits of businessmen and shysters who are pretending to care about design in some strained attempt to appear to be noble city-builders rather than the cynical accountants that they really are. I'm not going to make anymore excuses for them.
 

ProjectEnd

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Surely you must have accepted this reality long ago, no?

There are obvious caveats - Symmetry, Mod, Cityzen, to a lesser extent Cresford (there are others, I just can't recall names at this point) - who recognize the power that excellent design can do for a brand (Apple?!?!), but for the most part large, full-service firms will be happy to sketch up some crap for anyone willing to pay the fee. Though best developers (including, but not necessarily limited to the aforementioned group) find a way to integrate design into their cost equations, the reality is that there is a bottom line and it has to be met. An elementary course in real estate finance is a real eye opener to those (myself included) for whom design is the ultimate arbiter as it clarifies just how hard 'excellence' is (and increases the respect one has for those who 'get it,' so to speak).

(I also wouldn't have selected One Bloor as a barometer or litmus test for 'bad design' or 'cheapening' as I'm pretty sure the folks at Great Gulf and H+P wouldn't have made so clear the expensive details they're planning for that project - e.g. curved class on *wait* - every - balcony).
 

Ramako

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Maybe it was that One Bloor was such a high profile project, but it really was just the straw that broke the camel's back. There's always something that is compromised. Almost every major project. I guess what bothers me is that we're always presented with one thing, then given another. I don't care if they're going to put up something that is less than ideal, but don't represent it as being otherwise. As much as people like to criticize Aura, I have a certain level of respect for the developer and the project because if you looked at the renderings, you knew all along exactly what they were delivering. It's honest.

I don't mean to bring this thread full circle, but aside from X, I think that aA is one of the only architectural firms out there where what you see in the planning/rendering stages is what you actually get in reality. Say what you will about their designs, but they always seem to follow through, no matter the developer they're working for. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that they are so detail and execution oriented in their approach. There's little need to go back and make alterations.
 

ProjectEnd

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There are always things to be 'compromised' (re: my real estate finance course advice...) but this is because (as I'm sure you know, but for the benefit of others) buildings are 'living' things - in design / construction mode, everything is in constant flux. Changes inside (that we will likely not see) may lead to drastic changes on the outside (like a line of spandrel or some such nonsense).

That said...

If you go back and look at the Aura renders (at least the ones I have saved), I'd say that what was 'promised' has been significantly less than what was delivered. Some of the renders were 'taken' at night so things are more 'camouflaged' and the 'wall of spandrel' is hardly, if at all, noticeable, but I'd honestly thought that Aura was going to be of better quality when it was on paper. Seeing it in reality is therefore perhaps a double-blow. It's really not a good showing for the developer or, moreover, the city's 'design review panel' since they are unable to have any effect on who gets the contract for the individual panels which will constitute the actual building.

aA does what it does because 'the firm' realizes that they are not going to win or loose any battles by engaging in some flame war between keyboard jockeys on UrbanToronto or Twitter. They do what they do because that's what they do.

Insider tip: the 'original' proposal for X did indeed have the windowwall going right to the top - unsold units = cutbacks and the final iteration we see today. Simply put: the four drawings you see in your typical planning document do not represent the (literally, no kidding) thousands of drawings which are transferred between architect and the many bodies who work to make that vision a reality.
 

urbandreamer

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It's no different than in the fashion biz. I had a bold vision, but once it hit the shops it represented hundreds of changes, compromises and yes, cost cutting. Even your beloved ipad or iphone went through these stages. That's life yo.

While I think a Distillery District-styled aA creation would be ideal here--Spadina is crying out for a continuation of the red brick warehouse look to brighten the streetwall, perhaps as a 10s podium--I can imagine the final product looking more like Ice than X.
 
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Big Daddy

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Yes, usually I do find a way to appreciate the buildings we get in this city, but I'm honestly tired of defending and making excuses for the mediocre bulls**t that is perpetually foisted upon us and called "architecture". The cheapening of One Bloor, a supposed signature landmark tower, sent me over the edge. Design is a total afterthought in this city; just an intangible cost/benefit factored into a pro forma. All we're doing here is following the exploits of businessmen and shysters who are pretending to care about design in some strained attempt to appear to be noble city-builders rather than the cynical accountants that they really are. I'm not going to make anymore excuses for them.

Could not agree with you more.
 

The Condo Observer

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This tower is more sybolic than we all realize. Cityplace ushered in the condo boom, and its tower will signify the end of that boom. Not a doomsday scenario, or a "baby we got a bubble" prediction at all, but just the natural levelling off which has already started. But more than that, it will symbolize the revitilisation of this city that was made possible by that condo boom. We have witnessed our city transform at a spectacular rate...and the growing pains and criticims so well expressed on this site are part and parcel of that.

I also hope it will be a real landmark, destined for iconic status. We need these to punctuate the streets and streets full of (very acceptable) background buildings (grey boxes).
 

neubilder

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This tower is more sybolic than we all realize. Cityplace ushered in the condo boom, and its tower will signify the end of that boom. Not a doomsday scenario, or a "baby we got a bubble" prediction at all, but just the natural levelling off which has already started. But more than that, it will symbolize the revitilisation of this city that was made possible by that condo boom. We have witnessed our city transform at a spectacular rate...and the growing pains and criticims so well expressed on this site are part and parcel of that.

I also hope it will be a real landmark, destined for iconic status. We need these to punctuate the streets and streets full of (very acceptable) background buildings (grey boxes).

This condo boom has "ushered in" countless lost opportunities and bad architecture and urban design, a notable example being cityplace. Even if the signature tower is remarkable along the skyline, it won't help the situation on the ground.
 
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E.B.

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A quote from Anthony Bourdain (writer and television host was in Toronto this past weekend to shoot an episode for the second season of his other show, The Layover.)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life...o-you-really-think-of-toronto/article4446234/


I’m intrigued by the fact that this is not a good-looking city … your English-Presbyterian past has not served you well architecturally. Like Sao Paulo, another city I really love, it’s not a place that looks anywhere near as cool as it really is.
 
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