With the ever-expanding global population, cities around the world today are caught in the midst of mass urbanization; the resultant problems are the topic of much of the current architectural discourse. From these trends stems the challenges of providing adequate amounts of both housing and urban green space, and by extension, providing adequate food production. In order to address this divide, Toronto will soon be home to The Plant – a mixed-use community revolving around sustainable residential urban farming and social responsibility in the Queen Street West neighborhood.
“It might seem extreme, but we orientated this entire project around our connection to food,” says Curated Properties partner Gary Eisen, one of the developers involved in the project. “It’s our guiding principle and the result is a building that lives and breathes and offers a better quality of life to the people who will live and work here. The Plant is a community that fits with the foodie culture that has come to define Queen West.”
Studio Gang has been commissioned to design their first project in Canada, a mixed-use tower that will be located in the Toronto neighborhood of Yonge + St. Clair. The project is one of several commissioned by Toronto’s Slate Asset Management as part of a larger effort to revitalize the district through the use of public art, world-class design and vibrant streetscapes and open spaces. The area’s first intervention, an 8-story mural by renowned artist Phlegm, was completed last summer.
“Yonge + St. Clair is on its way back,” says Brandon Donnelly, Vice President of Development at Slate Asset Management. “Having occasion to bring Studio Gang’s first project in Toronto to the neighbourhood signals to the rest of the city that we would like to create something special here.”
His RAIC Gold Medal, recognizing a significant and lasting contribution to Canadian Architecture, will be accepted by his widow Sheila du Toit and two sons at the RAIC/OAA Festival of Architecture in Ottawa in May.
Eight “Winter Stations” have been installed along Toronto’s beachfront, injecting new life into the shoreline during the Canadian city’s winter months. Completed as a result of the annual Winter Stations design competition, the eight projects responded to this year’s theme of “Catalyst,” which sought installations that “open up the waterfront landscape and reinvent the space for visitors” while considering how materials may be repurposed or reused for future iterations.
The Toronto Winter Stations design competition has selected the five professional and three student teams that will add sculptures to the Toronto beachfront this winter for the third edition of the annual event. Under the theme of “Catalyst,” the jury sought installations that “open up the waterfront landscape and reinvent the space for visitors,” while considering how materials may be repurposed or reused for future iterations.
The project aims to extend and reinvigorate the campus core along McCaul Street in downtown Toronto and will include approximately 55,000 square feet of new construction, in addition to the renovation of 95,000 square feet of existing campus space.
In June last year, PARTISANS published Rise and Sprawl: The Condominiumization of Toronto with architecture historian and critic Hans Ibelings. An effort to contextualize the role of the condo in Toronto’s unprecedented and intense growth over the past ten years, this thoughtful, if provocative, work offers a scathing criticism of the architecture (or lack thereof) deployed in much of the recent residential constructions in the city. It is a formal demand that the city be built more thoughtfully.
Alex Josephson is a founding partner of PARTISANS, one of Toronto’s youngest and more innovative architecture practices. Only in its fifth year, PARTISANS has already earned accolades and awards from the American Institute of Architecture, the Ontario Association of Architects, Architect Magazine, Interior Design Magazine, and the World Architecture Festival (WAF).
In memorial of the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, which resulted in the emigration of over 37,000 Hungarians to Canada, architectural studio Hello Wood has created Tunnel Through Time, a contemporary interpretation of the historic event that remembers the heroes of the revolution and especially honoring the Canadian people who welcomed Hungarian refugees.
Composed of 37,565 pieces—one for each Hungarian refugee accepted into Canada—the tunnel begins with a Hungarian flag with a hole in the middle, representing how protesters cut the communist coat of arms out of the Hungarian flag during the revolution. The tunnel then morphs—as a representation of the journey of the refugees—until it reaches an exit, which is shaped like the national symbol of Canada, the maple leaf.
Metropolis Magazine has released their 2016 rankings of the world's most "livable" cities. Acknowledging that what makes a city "livable" can often be subjective, the team at Metropolis emphasizes that in creating the list they "focused on the concerns at Metropolis’ core—housing, transportation, sustainability, and culture." The result of this research was last year's top prize-winner Toronto dropping to the number 9 spot and Copenhagen, which last year took the number 4 spot, jumping to the top. Rounding out the top three are Berlin and Helsinki.