Forma | 308m | 84s | Great Gulf | Gehry Partners

freshcutgrass

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I thought your point was that these buildings only appealed to people who thought that the high-level engineering and outlandish forms was fanboyish "cool" rather than "beautiful" and that such a mentality lacked sophistication. Now your argument is that these buildings appeal to elitist, grad-school types who fawn over some contrived profound theoretical meaning. Which is it?

It's both....and more. Gehry's web catches a great variety of "fans", and his greatness spawns a lot of haters as well. Doesn't really matter....empirically speaking, this particular project/design, in this particular location, is quite sensational....and should be built. If you think not, then you are probably wearing track pants.

And that's really all there is to say about that.
 

Ramako

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My fiancée's opinion: All three are "terrifying". The tower on the left looks like it's taking off its bathrobe, the middle tower looks like it's from the Lord of the Rings and the tower on the right looks like Satan's armchair taking off its bathrobe.

Without sounding too much like a "post-modern emperor's-clothes elitist theorist", for my part I love the effect of the white sheets enveloping the podium and towers to various degrees. It creates a vision of modern (and very industrial looking) skyscrapers perpetually rising out of fog or smoke. On the one hand it evokes the very familiar imagery of fog rolling in off the lake, and on the other hand, it reflects the modern city's emergence from its industrial past as the "Big Smoke". The tower in the middle has barely began to emerge from the dense fog, creating a sense of mystery and makes one wonder what lies ahead. The fact that it's the tallest and the most robust in form makes one think, "great things", which is indeed what people think of Toronto these days. In a way, these towers are both a comment on the city's past and its future.

Also, these towers look fucking cool!
 

Traynor

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See now that's a start and I completely love the imagery invoked by the smoke and building from it, but it doesn't finish the thought.

So what do all the melting walls and disjointed levels mean?
 

Ramako

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You are not the brightest if you don't get Lansdude's point and how it correlates to my opinion of Gehry.

Classy.


Fanboys like this because everyone else does. As in no one wants to be the one who says they don't see the emperor's clothes because only the elite and intelligent people can see them... Then along comes a young boy and speaks the truth. Forcing all the citizens to admit they were just following along because it was cool to do so and didn't want to look lame.

Is that simple enough for you to get?


Here's what you originally said about why fanboys like these towers:

Gehry's appeal to the "fan-boy, teenager, gee-wow how did they do that, that's so cool, neat-o, far-out, sick, wicked!" mentality speaks to the unsophisticated nature of his design aesthetic. LET ME BE CLEAR: The design aesthetic and the overall look of the buildings is unsophisticated, NOT the engineering. The level of advanced engineering and construction to realize these monstrosities, is on the highest order and must be commended. However, just because you can, doesn't mean you should.

It is childish to swoon over the gee-wow factor, just as much as if these three 80-plus storey towers were in the shape of Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and C3PO. They would receive the same accolades and marvel at the wonder of how they did that and the same fan-boy mentality would find it appealing.

You completely changed your argument, so please, save the condescension.
 
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Ramako

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See now that's a start and I completely love the imagery invoked by the smoke and building from it, but it doesn't finish the thought.

So what do all the melting walls mean?

I assume you're talking about the east tower. As I said, I don't particularly love it like I do the other two, so I wouldn't mind see it revised, but what looks like a pile of twisted metal is certainly evocative of heavy industry. I think that plays into the larger vision of an industrial (and eventually modern) city emerging from the smoke. I kind of see it like a timeline: the east tower is the oldest, most chaotic and least formed - just a mess of steel, the west tower is more organized and modern in form, yet still somewhat industrial (especially given the copper colour), and the middle tower (the top of which you can see emerging from the smoke) is the most modern looking with clean and sharp lines that you'd see on any modern skyscraper. It's also white, which is a colour I often associate with the future and sci-fi.
 

syn

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Any chance these towers become mixed-use with office space? That would seem to make sense at this location.
 

Traynor

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The points are one in the same.

Sheesh.... my "Not too bright" statement stands.

I will break it down into one syllable words if necessary.

And here I ended up arguing with a 13 year old after all. Silly me.

I am done.
 

skyrise

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It's both....and more. Gehry's web catches a great variety of "fans", and his greatness spawns a lot of haters as well. Doesn't really matter....empirically speaking, this particular project/design, in this particular location, is quite sensational....and should be built. If you think not, then you are probably wearing track pants.

And that's really all there is to say about that.

+1
 

buildup

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BINGO!

Someone who gets it.

It doesn't mean you agree with me, but at least you understand the point I am making.

The architect has no clothes!!! He is NAKED!!!!!!



Perfect statement... could not be expressed any better. Everything I was trying to say boiled down to one sentence.

Thank You

Level with me Traynor, you didn't understand a word he said either.
 

skyrise

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In layman's terms, I believe he was suggesting to Traynor that he should stop arguing his point, accept his own perception of the project as reality, and be indifferent to what others think. Oh and I am pretty sure his statement about the "caricature of an emperor has no clothes Elitist theorist" was directed at me. Lol.
 

Xray_Crystal_Junkie

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The points are one in the same.

Sheesh.... my "Not too bright" statement stands.

I will break it down into one syllable words if necessary.

And here I ended up arguing with a 13 year old after all. Silly me.

I am done.

This back and forth was just painful to read. I also found it rich that you had the gall to call out adma without realizing the irony.

All your posts were dripping with arrogance. You might find it easier to convince others if you didn't keep insulting their intelligence (i.e. not to bright, 13 year old mind).

As was pointed out to you several times, your concept of beauty is no superior or more sophisticated than that of the rest of us simple folk.
 

adma

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Ah yes and there are those select few forumers who maintain an elitist attitude and dismiss the rest as ignorant of what constitutes good architecture and urbanism. They know what is best as their opinions are indeed facts. They pine over architects like Mies because his brilliance is not easily recognizable to the common folk. The subtly is lost and most will dismiss his work as plain boxes missing Mies’ design aesthetic. This ignorance feeds their self-importance and helps maintain their smugness. Much like the art, film and music world, elitists have a general disdain for anything that is populist. If the common folk admire it, it isn’t worthy. Gehry is on the opposite spectrum of Mies. Mies’ designs were all about form follows function, while Gehry is all about function follows form. Mies was all about subtle nuances; Gehry’s designs are audacious and in your face. They believe that the great unwashed who appreciate accessible designs are incapable of admiring other forms or understanding the sum of all parts that constitutes great architecture. They paint all with the same broad brush and prefer to hurl indirect insults rather than enter into a dialogue to support their position.

Yet you're overlooking an even more vivid element in the preference of so-called common folk *and* select "elitists" alike, and one that's taken a prominent role in this thread: heritage. The existing built fabric. And these Doors Open-ing days, that's a category that can encompass not only "old buildings" but new or new-ish stuff like Mies *and* Gehry. And in that light, leaving aside the to-preserve-or-not-to-preserve arguments specific to Mirvish/Gehry in this location...

...what on earth is the problem with an everyday, magnanimous architectural/urban conoisseurship that can encompass Mies, and Gehry, and the older building fabric which surrounds us?!?

And that's directed *both* to you *and* to Traynor. Why should everything be either/or? Or, come to think of it (and this is more related to yourself), why be so dependent upon "big, impressive" projects? Believe it or not, "common folk" can be attracted to or perfectly accepting of or even protective of common, aged, bygone fabric--and that's a big reason why heritage is a popular tourist draw, or why people lament when they see old pictures of "lost Toronto", or why they can, yes, empathize with the argument for the existing Mirvish properties, Gehry notwithstanding. In practice, you'll find a *lot* of people saying "gee whiz, too bad this stuff has to go"--a lot more than those saying "they're plain, ugly, obsolete old warehouses and a dull PoMo theatre, they've all had their day, good riddance".

And from here, we go to Traynor's quote...

Furthermore I don't believe these designs will hold up through time and be considered classic. Almost ALL classic architecture holds up through time and even spawns a revival of one kind or another. Two hundred years from now will we see Crumpled Revival or Neo-Crumpled? I think not. I think this style will go the way of the Blue Velvet Tuxedo: Once the height of fashion and avant-garde but considered kitschy and amusing now.

And yet: even a lot of that so-called "kitschy and amusing" (or even worse, considering the urban-disaster rep a lot of modernist urbanism has earned) has wound up crossing back over into being legitimate preservationist rallying points...largely as a response to the ham-handed thoughtlessness behind such kneejerk judgment...
 

AlbertC

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Rather bizarre turn of events. From TMI stories for justification, excessive analysis, and insistent need to attack other's taste and intelligence. It's architect for casual discussion, that's all. Take it easy. No point in constantly having the need to belittle those who may have opposing views.

The ironic part of the "13 yr old" term is that Traynor's exit reminded me of the brat who shouts "I'm going to take my ball and go home"!
 

skyrise

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Adma I understand your passion for preserving this block and your points are valid. Ideally there will be a way of doing this while maintaining the overall vision of this project. However I, like so many others in this thread, deem this project worthy enough to make the sacrifice here if necessary.

A city is the sum of all of its parts and thriving city’s are progressive and at times make sacrifices for the greater good. I am indifferent to most of what is being built in this city, but this project excites me because it elevates the level of architecture in the city and I believe it will have a profoundly positive effect (more so than what is currently there).
 

Ramako

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Rather bizarre turn of events. From TMI stories for justification, excessive analysis, and insistent need to attack other's taste and intelligence. It's architect for casual discussion, that's all. Take it easy. No point in constantly having the need to belittle those who may have opposing views.

The ironic part of the "13 yr old" term is that Traynor's exit reminded me of the brat who shouts "I'm going to take my ball and go home"!

Generally whenever someone starts resorting to petty insults, the prospect of any further constructive debate has ended anyway.
 

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