While part of the Gardiner Expressway has come down over recent weeks, another part is getting a makeover, specifically a 120 metre-long section where a vibrant, 12.5 metre-high public artwork is being installed along the north wall of Mirabella Condos. Entitled "Motion in Air," the art installation is currently being assembled and will become a permanent fixture along the expressway, one of Toronto's busiest arteries. Designed by Canadian artist Jennifer Macklem, Diamante Development commissioned the work as a landmark art piece for their lakeside project at Windermere Avenue.

Final product of Motion in Air currently under installation, image courtesy of Diamante Development

Motion in Air was inspired by the concept of environmental awareness and the site's special connection to Lake Ontario, the sky, and the surrounding park and plant life. Macklem's artistic process involved many refinements over the past two years, but when it is completed, the final result will be a vibrant depiction of cells and other organisms, representing Toronto’s ecology, and created to spark curiosity and an appreciation for the impact of the unlimited microscopic elements in our surroundings. 

Having first been created in a studio in pieces, the artwork has been under assembly for nearly a month. The panels are aluminum, the art having been transferred onto them through the process of dye sublimation, made permanent with a powder coated finish. The aluminum panels, being ultimately recyclable, are environmentally responsible, but very durable for use in humid, marine, and cold-weather outdoor conditions, so no recycling is foreseen for a very long time.

The installation process is expected to take eight to ten weeks, and is currently just over one month in. Back on September 24th, just a few panels had been installed, as seen in the image below.

Installation as of September 24, image courtesy of Diamante Development

As of the October 15 image below, many more of the panels had been installed, with the design becoming more visible. 

Installation as of October 15, image courtesy of Diamante Development

Upon completion, Motion in Air will stretch longer than the length of a football field, and be comprised of over 500 of the custom printed, dye-sublimated panels that are being manufactured by Alto, a Canadian company based in Quebec. Installation of the panels is being done by Triumph. The images were designed by Macklem to work with the building, its context, and to celebrate its natural surroundings. The building, designed by Scott Shields Architects, is comprised of two towers rising to 38 storeys, joined together by a podium. The Mirabella Development Corporation in partnership with Fengate Capital, is overseeing the art installation process, in conjunction with the continuing construction of the building being managed by PCL.

Occupancy for Mirabella Condos is expected for Spring 2022.

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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Related Companies:  BDP Quadrangle, Doka Canada Ltd./Ltee, Ferris + Associates Inc., Kentwood, LiveRoof Ontario Inc, McIntosh Perry, Peter McCann Architectural Models Inc., PMA Brethour Realty Group, Scott Shields Architects