Toronto Theatre District Residence & Riu Plaza Hotel | 156.05m | 49s | Plaza | BDP Quadrangle

Dec 2, 2022

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It seems Peter Clewes from aA doesn't like this project very much
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That's a rather petulant, nasty little exchange from him, possibly motivated by how he feels about a former colleague. He should have and could have risen above that.

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Especially since this is very far from the ugliest thing built in Toronto in the last year, yet alone Ever.

I actually think this is among the better buildings going up right now.
It's an interesting read overall, and I mostly like Clewes' work, but it's unfortunate that he took that particular swipe, possibly also angered that they've lost some direct sunlight on the east wall of a—A's offices owing to that project. He also decries other architects for bowing to the corporations that hired them… but not a—A of course (who I suppose meant to spec the oil-canning aluminum panels on 'Alter', that wasn't Tridel who ordered costs to be cut?).

Sorry, the holier-than-thou thing is irking me in that interview.

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I mean, he really doesn't like Quadrangle. And it's obviously personal... /bleh
 
It seems Peter Clewes from aA doesn't like this project very much
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I'll chime in late here to agree w/the consensus position for the most part; that:

a) This is nowhere near the ugliest building going up now or in recent history in Toronto; and that while far from perfect, I would absolutely agree it's above-average, if not one of the better offerings at scale currently being built.

b) Even if there was a shred of truth in Peter's critique, it is so scathing and so out of proportion and so lacking in contextual fairness as to reach the height of absurdity and he really ought to have shown far greater restraint.

I'll then add; the strength in a-A's work over the years has generally been good finishing details and material palate (though not universally so); and that they don't tend to make overly busy designs. However, they do put out an awful lot of stuff that could be charitably called forgettable; plain, ordinary, and unexceptional.

Their esthetic has also leaned cool and austere over the years and while there are several firms who have produced infinitely greater dreck than most of a-A's portfolio; they are hardly this city's leading light on architecture; unless bland is now the highest of compliments.

Peter Clewes is far too thin skinned about his own work to be turning it up to full blast on a firm whose work, I frankly find preferable to his own more often than not.
 
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