Market Wharf | 110.33m | 33s | Context Development | architectsAlliance

AlvinofDiaspar

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UD:

Not quite half - more like about 1/3.

re: Clewsian controversy

I don't find this project to be so dramatically out of scale with the surrounding neighbourhood as to ruin it. If anything, projects like 18 Yorkville are probably more damaging considering it fundamentally altered the 2s nature of Yonge with the podium, as well as lots having to be merged.

AoD
 

Hipster Duck

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re: Clewsian controversy

I don't find this project to be so dramatically out of scale with the surrounding neighbourhood as to ruin it. If anything, projects like 18 Yorkville are probably more damaging considering it fundamentally altered the 2s nature of Yonge with the podium, as well as lots having to be merged.

AoD

I would defend 18 Yorkville, Alvin, if only because the character of eastern Yorkville in those parts is so hybrid. There's the one block Victorian streetscape along Yonge, to be sure, but there's also the large mass of the Reference Library, the older but also massive Masonic Temple, the nearby Yonge and Bloor towers, as well as taller stuff just north of Davenport.

Clewes responded by building several variations on a theme. A point tower at the corner of Yonge and Yorkville, followed by a midrise tail along Yonge and, along Scollard, something halfway between rowhousing and a Haussmann block. To bridge the difference in scale between the tower and Yorkville's library, Clewes softened the space with a public park. To maintain the vistas of the old fire hall and library, Clewes set the building back a significant amount from the sidewalk. As they go, this is probably one of Clewes' finer efforts.

I think that's the fundamental difference between me and Shocker in this thread. I truly believe that Clewes is a good architect, but I don't think he should be given carte blanche to design whatever he wants, wherever he wants. Above all, it pains me that the last few Clewes designs have been spectacularly lazy: unlike the thought that went into 18 Yorkville, there's nothing brilliant about slapping a point tower on a fat brick podium.
 

interchange42

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While 18 Yorkville seemed to understand the nature of its surroundings, Market Wharf blithely ignores it. I mean, geez, for the first time in 150 years the twin copper top spire of St. James and copper dome of St. Lawrence (what I liken as the Skydome and CN Tower Trylong and Perisphere of the pre-Confederation era) won't be visible from the lake.

So much of Toronto's traditional skyline as viewed from the lake is changing though - the iconic Royal York will soon only be seen from very select angles for example - that I don't think the City is even trying to preserve the harbour view of certain points on the northern horizon.

Beyond its blocking effect, I do not agree that Market Wharf ignores its surroundings. Its podium compliments existing brick buildings of similar massing on all sides, and the tower, pushed to the south end of the site and away from the future park, will not be out of scale with other towers a mere block away.

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ShonTron

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One of the latest Clewes proposals, Pier 27, isn't bad at all though and has some of the thought that went into 18 Yorkville (my second favourite Clewes building after Mozo) by opening up the vista to the lake. In fact, I have little problem with the architecture itself, and believe Clewes attemptd to balance the developer's need to make big profits on a site that should never been developed this way, my concern, of course with with the single-use, suburban driveway site plan that negates the attempt to leave the site open architectually.

But the notion that because Clewes was hired, it must be even more brillant than his brillant last effort, is nuts. HD hits this one on the head.
 

Urban Shocker

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Dipster Huck misrepresents my posts by suggesting that I have said that Clewes "should be given carte blanche to design whatever he wants, wherever he wants." I have never said that.

In his most recent Globe interview with John Bentley Mays, Clewes acknowledged that the redesigned ( shorter ) Distillery condos were mandated by the City's bureaucratic approval process: "this is a very political world, and we have to have regard for that process, then come up with the best architectural solution we can." so he's obviously not claiming that he can design whatever he wants wherever he wants either.
 

unimaginative2

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Dipster Huck misrepresents my posts by suggesting that I have said that Clewes "should be given carte blanche to design whatever he wants, wherever he wants." I have never said that.

Ah, of course not! You merely approve of everything he designs on an ad hoc basis.

ShonTron, don't be fooled: Pier 27 will not open any vistas to the lake. An amenities complex will be sited on the first level between the two buildings, ensuring that the lake is completely invisible from Queens Quay.
 

ShonTron

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Unimaginative - the Pier 27 seemed to me that was a later tack-on. I think Clewes made an attempt at Pier 27, but the developer was so profit-motivated and indifferent to the context that I think Clewes tried to address that the original design premise was thrown out.

The problem, I think is more that developers pretty much get what they want, not so much with Clewes architecture (but I agree, it has become lazy lately).
 

interchange42

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Wait - what's the lazy part?

At Market Wharf he's got a contextual brick podium, while the tower is Clewesian glass all the way.

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Edward

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I think Clewes made an attempt at Pier 27, but the developer was so profit-motivated and indifferent to the context that I think Clewes tried to address that the original design premise was thrown out.

Are you in the business? If not how can you make such a statement? Did Clewes tell you personally that his hands were tied by a developer that was "so profit-motivated"?
 

unimaginative2

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Then he should resign, if his art is more important than his income. If a developer eliminates one of the central premises of his design -- the vista to the lake -- in the interest of more profit, he should not continue to work with that developer. Instead, we've seen Clewes twist his archispeak into fanciful contortions to justify any number of profit-driven alterations by his developer paymasters.
 

ShonTron

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Are you in the business? If not how can you make such a statement? Did Clewes tell you personally that his hands were tied by a developer that was "so profit-motivated"?

Uh, do you know what the words "I think" mean?

The attempt to create that lake vista was underminded by the amenties building which was tacked on later by the developer (which generally have a profit-motivation, given that they aren't doing this for any other reason), so yes, I stand by my statement of personal opinion.
 

Urban Shocker

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The lake vista lives and breathes, as the renderings and video thingy show. That's the benefit of working with a large site - in this case entire buildings have been raised and floated in order to create views of the lake that wouldn't be possible if, say, the site was divided into dozens of small plots with different developers filling most of the ground-level space.

Redesign is part of the process that most designers - architectural or otherwise - go through. Hardly grounds for histrionic calls for their resignation.
 

interchange42

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This discussion should be in the Pier 27 thread, and not the Market Wharf thread. I will move the appropriate posts if the thread continues off topic.

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adma

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Er...so what about the tower being glass? Look, when it comes to "context-appropriateness", at least it's W of Jarvis, rather than E of Jarvis and right smack in the middle of the St Lawrbourhood. And if the scale's inappropriate, so is that banal brick gargantua atop the parking garage at the foot of Church, or the PoMo Flatiron further west.

If I were to object *at all*, it'd be more for its blocking the view of St. Lawrence Market & Hall from the south...
 

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