The phenomenon of the "starchitect" has reached a fever pitch in the past two decades. The construction of the Guggenheim Bilbao and hype surrounding the project's architect Frank Gehry is often pointed to as the beginning of the contemporary starchitect obsession. Increasingly, competitive global cities vie for attention, and the iconic designs of popular architects are often highly sought after for cultural institutions — Gehry's redesign of the AGO is a great example in Toronto. Today's spotlight looks at a condominium that has caught starchitect fever, the L Tower condos.
While Toronto is no stranger to condominiums, we don't often see developers chasing down international architects to the same degree they do in cities such as New York, Dubai or Chicago. Developers Cityzen, Fernbrook Homes and Castlepoint have raised the bar with L Tower, by commissioning Daniel Libeskind / Page + Steele / IBI Group to design a truly unique project. Initially designed as an L-shaped tower perched above the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts, the design was changed to that which we are seeing under construction now, a sleek and modern curved tower.
Currently reaching to the 15th floor, the tower will climb to a height of 58 storeys. Interiors are designed by Munge Leung Design Associates, and construction is slated for completion in 2012. The tower breaks from the usual designs we see coming from Daniel Libeskind's studio, which often puts out deconstructivist designs of sharp angles and broken geometries. His design here clearly caters to the condominium market, providing a sleek, shiny and contemporary tower, inoffensive to the discerning purchaser.
The L Tower is in close proximity to the St. Lawrence Market, the Financial District, King Street East, and the future waterfront redevelopment. It is in joined by the currently-under-construction Berczy Condos, and is across the street from the future 88 Scott condominiums. The tower brings a new, and definitely unique, architectural vocabulary to this neighbourhood, which can only be described as a crossroads of various districts within the downtown core. We'll leave you with some photos of the project now under construction. If you want to join the discussion, check out what everyone's talking about on the project's Forum page here, or check out the dataBase listing below.