JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: ARCHITECT FRANK GEHRY – HIS PROPOSAL FOR KING STREET PRAISED BUT IT’S UGLY AND INAPPROPRIATE – TORONTO’S GLASS-BOX DISASTER   Leave a comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

JOHN CHUCKMAN

POSTED COMMENTS TO AN ARTICLE IN THE TORONTO STAR

Frank Gehry swings between being a decent, but not great, architect (AGO renovations) and being a silly showman who produces giant stunts or monumental sculptures having no relationship to their surroundings and little relationship to their intended use (Bilbao Museum, Disney Concert Hall).

The model for King Street is a perfect example of his latter tendencies. It is simply terrible urban design, and I’m surprised Chris Hume is sucked into paying homage to a concept that does not deserve to see the light of day. A case of the emperor’s new clothes?
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In response to another reader comment:

Well, there is an awfully large range of possibilities between another glass box and this pile of crinkled strapping tape. We do have a terrible lot of crappy glass box condos in Toronto, thanks to a gold rush of development and a government which exercises no genuine standards on developers.

These places do not make a worthy urban space, and many have no good environmental aspects or aesthetic appeal. The city has, to a considerable degree, built a modern urban wasteland on the old rail lands.
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Imagination in this case is just another word for silly on a monumental scale.

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I have a suggestion for the project. You may be familiar with the St Hubert Chicken delivery cars in Montreal: they feature large, lighted plastic chickens on their roofs.

How about a huge lighted turkey on the roof of these condos? It would serve at least two purposes: recalling the annual giveaway gesture of Ed Mirvish (thousands of Thanksgiving turkeys) while characterizing in dramatic fashion the nature of these proposed buildings.
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“Quintessential Toronto building,” Mr Hume? Curls of wide strapping tape dangling from a cardboard tube?

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