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

The reason I am willing to see the warehouses go, is because I'm keenly interested to see what a renowned architect can do at street level if given a clean slate. STreet level is the challenge without question.

No thanks. I'd rather have an stararchitect be forced to deal with context and history rather than being able to let his ego do the driving.
 
No thanks. I'd rather have an stararchitect be forced to deal with context and history rather than being able to let his ego do the driving.

I'm sorta fed up with this hazy "context" term people hide behind. What specifically do you mean by "context" in this specific situation? If you mean warehouses, just say warehouses.
 
For those who want know what was destroyed to make way for the heritage warehouses, read the following:

Here's the links to info & video on the history of the entertainment district http://torontoed.com/about

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bTAETH2YdXw&feature=youtu.be

The area that presently comprises the Entertainment District is rich in history, having experienced nearly two centuries of continual change in its built character and land uses, including periods of growth and decline.

In the early part of the 19th century, the area was primarily a wealthy residential neighbourhood that housed the Parliament Buildings of Upper Canada.

At the turn of the last century and with the advent of the railroad, the area was a burgeoning industrial and manufacturing district that included primarily poor and working class housing where many immigrants to Toronto settled.

By the middle of the last century, the garment industry had risen and begun to fall, and the area entered into an era of economic decline fuelled by suburbanization combined with a diminishing manufacturing sector.

Towards the end of the last century, the area began to experience an emergence with the influx of entertainment, creative and IT industries, and aided by innovative planning policies that encouraged mixed uses and the adaptive reuse of former warehouses.

Benefiting from economic, environmental, and social factors driving downtown growth, the present-day Entertainment District is in the midst of a renaissance, firmly establishing itself as a thriving and vibrant district for living, creating, working, and playing.
- See more at: http://torontoed.com/about#sthash.fSkcPHs9.dpuf
 
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I'm sorta fed up with this hazy "context" term people hide behind. What specifically do you mean by "context" in this specific situation? If you mean warehouses, just say warehouses.

Context means both the built form and the history of the site. To the north, east and west of the Mirvish site are a further sets of warehouses and heritage buildings; King Street forms one of the more continous streets in Toronto which hasn't been pockmarked by demolitions as much as other streets. Context refers to the size of the buildings surrounding the site, and their materiality as well. To give Gehry a blank slate essentially allows him to do whatever in the name of stararchitecture (as he has done)- context no longers becomes crucial.

I'm personally tired with people trumping Gehry's architecture as being the ticket that'll allow Mirvish to bypass normal planning and community consulting procedures. If Gehry proposed blank concrete walls for the podium, I bet there'll still be some people who want the thing to be built right away. Let the community be consulted, let Gehry take this feedback into consideration. It's not like the work will be ruined afterwards- it's really only the podium that will change.
 
Context means both the built form and the history of the site. To the north, east and west of the Mirvish site are a further sets of warehouses and heritage buildings; King Street forms one of the more continous streets in Toronto which hasn't been pockmarked by demolitions as much as other streets. Context refers to the size of the buildings surrounding the site, and their materiality as well. To give Gehry a blank slate essentially allows him to do whatever in the name of stararchitecture (as he has done)- context no longers becomes crucial.

I'm personally tired with people trumping Gehry's architecture as being the ticket that'll allow Mirvish to bypass normal planning and community consulting procedures. If Gehry proposed blank concrete walls for the podium, I bet there'll still be some people who want the thing to be built right away. Let the community be consulted, let Gehry take this feedback into consideration. It's not like the work will be ruined afterwards- it's really only the podium that will change.

Wow! When I look at the site I see something completely different than you. Who'se right? I see huge towers to the East, West and South while you do not. You say "King Street forms one of the more continous streets in Toronto which hasn't been pockmarked by demolitions as much as other streets". True, but not in this area, quite the opposite. West of Spadina perhaps.

I know your comment isn't entirely serious, but no-one wants a blank concrete wall for the podium. I'd like a clean slate for the podium since the city seems chock-a-block full of facadism (towers above, towers behind, towers suspended, towers wrapped around... I'd like a fresh clean slate for once to see what modernism is capable of. Why do we assume only the ancients could do podiums?

Re - your last point, Im surprised you feel the towers wil sail through at their proper height. Seems the Planning Committee wants to saw them off.
 
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Wow! When I look at the site I see something completely different than you. Who'se right? I see huge towers to the East, West and South while you do not. You say "King Street forms one of the more continous streets in Toronto which hasn't been pockmarked by demolitions as much as other streets". True, but not in this area, quite the opposite. West of Spadina perhaps.

I know your comment isn't entirely serious, but no-one wants a blank concrete wall for the podium. I'd like a clean slate for the podium since the city seems chock-a-block full of facadism (towers above, towers behind, towers suspended, towers wrapped around... I'd like a fresh clean slate for once to see what modernism is capable of. Why do we assume only the ancients could do podiums?

Re - your last point, Im surprised you feel the towers wil sail through at their proper height. Seems the Planning Committee wants to saw them off.

IMO modernism has its place and its time (Gehry would be considered deconstructivist). I see the fact that while tall buildings will eventually come to this site, heritage should not come to an end to make way for it- there is a way for both to co-exist. Furthermore, I think we should move away from the argument that a great piece of work can only occur with a clean slate- examples throughout the world show that there are certain interesting and positive aspects that come with repurposing heritage architecture- textures and forms that will never be replicated in modern architecture, human proportioning, etc.

While you can and should get away with an argument against heritage in cities like New York, where they are completely chock-full of buildings like these, I think we should be wary of an argument like this in Toronto, which really only grew up after WWII. There are plenty of spots where spectacular modern architecture can occur in this city, this should not be one of them.

Remember that retaining the heritage buildings do not mean we lose:
- OCADU expansion
- The Art Gallery
- The spectacular towers
- New retail and office space
- The Gehry architecture

These things can still happen regardless of changes in the podium.

I also think Gehry and Mirvish may get around height concerns by conceding on some other issues, heritage being one of them.
 

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