U of T: Centre for Civilizations, Cultures, and Cities | 42.75m | 9s | U of T | DS + R

Northern Light

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To each their own, friendo.

While opinions in the matter of architecture aesthetics are indeed mere preferences, it's worth saying that both here at UT and on the thread on Twitter where you've been a participant, the design is far from universally loved.

I retain my opinion, nice building, wrong spot, terrible landscape plan.

The University made a terrible hash of many buildings in the south-west quadrant of campus 2 generations ago; there's lots of room down there for a replacement building of this caliber.

Likewise, this (or similar) could replace the bunker that is OISE and ameliorate Bloor.

But it really does feel out of place here to me; the massing is just too overwhelming for the site. But that's me.
 

jje1000

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While opinions in the matter of architecture aesthetics are indeed mere preferences, it's worth saying that both here at UT and on the thread on Twitter where you've been a participant, the design is far from universally loved.

I retain my opinion, nice building, wrong spot, terrible landscape plan.

The University made a terrible hash of many buildings in the south-west quadrant of campus 2 generations ago; there's lots of room down there for a replacement building of this caliber.

Likewise, this (or similar) could replace the bunker that is OISE and ameliorate Bloor.

But it really does feel out of place here to me; the massing is just too overwhelming for the site. But that's me.
My opinion is that U of T in recent years is maximizing floor space in any way possible in their pursuit of more students - the sensitivity that Morrison Hall (2005) was lauded for seems to have gone out the window in favor of projects like the Myhal Centre for Engineering (2018)!

That being said, there are a couple of relatively sensitive projects ongoing, like the Trinity College Residence proposal (though it replaces North Field).

Myhal-Centre_west-view_credit-Laura-Pedersen.jpg

 
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Alex L

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Strike two by U of T for this site.

While some contributors might think that anything and everything would be opposed by local community associations, this one should be opposed. This design has a few interesting details but is basically just a decorated box shoehorned into the site. The architects are just not up to designing for the site. It is a difficult site to build on. So high-profile, so loaded with existing heritage buildings. So you can have some sympathy for the architects, but this design just doesn't cut it.

While someone earlier joked about getting Libeskind to do something, I think something of a landmark like the Chin crystal would be welcomed for the site. The crystal at least worked with the existing building, like it or leave it. That would be interesting and acceptable, although still controversial like the pyramid at the Louvre. Maybe this isn't the only solution that could work, but a box or a tall condo don't work.
 

ADRM

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Strike two by U of T for this site.

While some contributors might think that anything and everything would be opposed by local community associations, this one should be opposed. This design has a few interesting details but is basically just a decorated box shoehorned into the site. The architects are just not up to designing for the site. It is a difficult site to build on. So high-profile, so loaded with existing heritage buildings. So you can have some sympathy for the architects, but this design just doesn't cut it.

While someone earlier joked about getting Libeskind to do something, I think something of a landmark like the Chin crystal would be welcomed for the site. The crystal at least worked with the existing building, like it or leave it. That would be interesting and acceptable, although still controversial like the pyramid at the Louvre. Maybe this isn't the only solution that could work, but a box or a tall condo don't work.

Obviously, you are entirely entitled to your opinion, but you do realize that in expressing your subjective preference for a specific Libeskind design over a specific DSRNY design, that is all you are doing, right? For my part, I happen to think the crystal is something between "fine" and "good" (on the exterior, at least), and I quite like the latest iteration of the design proposed for this site. But subjective architectural critique is not particularly solid planning ground on which to oppose a development -- the City can't really be in the practice of weighing the subjective architectural tastes of various groups of residents in its planning assessments.

Now, with respect to:
The architects are just not up to designing for the site. It is a difficult site to build on. So high-profile
This is just not really fair comment; DSRNY is among the most reputed firms on the continent, which has helped them win a number of very high profile academic building commissions (Juilliard, School of American Ballet, Columbia, Stanford, UC Berkeley) as well as those that have important heritage considerations (MoMA, Lincoln Centre, High Line), and that's just not really up for debate, regardless of your take on this particular offering of theirs.
 

Northern Light

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This is just not really fair comment; DSRNY is among the most reputed firms on the continent, which has helped them win a number of very high profile academic building commissions (Juilliard, School of American Ballet, Columbia, Stanford, UC Berkeley) as well as those that have important heritage considerations (MoMA, Lincoln Centre, High Line), and that's just not really up for debate, regardless of your take on this particular offering of theirs.

I think a fairer comment would be that the architects have been given a volume of space request which is nearly impossible to achieve without a building that overwhelms its neighbours and seems completely out of place from a massing perspective.

I'm sure U of T doesn't want to take a hit or face programmatic challenges with a lower volume of space; but I don't really see any good alternatives at the current volume.

I like the proposed building, but not its site.

To me it's a poor fit at this location.

On west campus (west of St George, from Harbord south it would be an improvement on most of what's there.

But here it really is just too much in the most literal sense.

The only fix is a smaller program and a small volume of space that permits the building to fit better.

Though, I am going to reaffirm here that I don't like the landscape plan at all.

It completely alters the flavour of the area and comes off as cold and sterile and betrays no sympathy to the heritage properties.

Far too much hardscape!
 

Alex L

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Obviously, you are entirely entitled to your opinion, but you do realize that in expressing your subjective preference for a specific Libeskind design over a specific DSRNY design, that is all you are doing, right? For my part, I happen to think the crystal is something between "fine" and "good" (on the exterior, at least), and I quite like the latest iteration of the design proposed for this site. But subjective architectural critique is not particularly solid planning ground on which to oppose a development -- the City can't really be in the practice of weighing the subjective architectural tastes of various groups of residents in its planning assessments.

Now, with respect to:

This is just not really fair comment; DSRNY is among the most reputed firms on the continent, which has helped them win a number of very high profile academic building commissions (Juilliard, School of American Ballet, Columbia, Stanford, UC Berkeley) as well as those that have important heritage considerations (MoMA, Lincoln Centre, High Line), and that's just not really up for debate, regardless of your take on this particular offering of theirs.

Hey, every firm can put forward an unsuccessful design. I am sure they have not won every competition they have entered. And I was only suggesting a landmark, not the crystal specifically.

Frankly, I think they could have used more of the space just south of the ROM. They could have given the recital hall frontage on Queen's Park. Like I said, difficult site. They seem to want to use that space for construction staging, maybe that is a consideration.

I looked at the revisions they have proposed to present tonight. Mostly just cosmetic changes.
 

Alex L

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I think a fairer comment would be that the architects have been given a volume of space request which is nearly impossible to achieve without a building that overwhelms its neighbours and seems completely out of place from a massing perspective.

I'm sure U of T doesn't want to take a hit or face programmatic challenges with a lower volume of space; but I don't really see any good alternatives at the current volume.

I like the proposed building, but not its site.

To me it's a poor fit at this location.

On west campus (west of St George, from Harbord south it would be an improvement on most of what's there.

But here it really is just too much in the most literal sense.

The only fix is a smaller program and a small volume of space that permits the building to fit better.

Though, I am going to reaffirm here that I don't like the landscape plan at all.

It completely alters the flavour of the area and comes off as cold and sterile and betrays no sympathy to the heritage properties.

Far too much hardscape!

I agree.
 

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