Planned for King Street West at the centre of Toronto's entertainment district, the proposed gallery and university complex includes the construction of three 82-86 storey metre skyscrapers, atop an expansive art gallery and a learning centre for OCAD University's art history and curatorial courses.
Moving on from the initial design revealed in October 2012, Frank Gehryenvisages the three residential towers with layers of ribbon-like cladding, creating curving surfaces and asymmetrical shapes. Despite objections from the city's planning department, the proposed heights remain unchanged.
The planned demolition of three warehouses and a small theatre to make way for the new buildings also prompted concerns from city officials. In response, Gehry has added a structure of vertical, horizontal and diagonal wooden beams to the base buildings as a reference to the area's industrial past.
"Toronto has grown to look like every other screwed-up city," Gehry told the Toronto Star. "We're searching for that way of expressing old Toronto without copying what they did."
He continued: "It's not hard to do a skyscraper; but how do you do one that has some Toronto DNA in it? I lived not far from the site. I remember the warehouses. It was the industrial section where the factories were. But we need to bring a new kind of life down there."
The project is currently set for completion in 2023.