Frank Gehry has designed a three-tower project as part of the renovation for King Street West, which is located in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district. The proposed gallery and university complex incorporates three 82 to 86 storey high rise buildings that are constructed on top of a new art gallery and learning centre for Ontario College of Art and Design’s (OCAD) history and curatorial courses.
The design of the structures involves the use of layered ribbon-like cladding therefore bringing curved surfaces and movement with the utilization of asymmetrical shapes. 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.
The architect wanted the skyscrapers to break away from the average city-skyline frame that Toronto has come to take.
Frank Gehry describes his modular inspiration for the project: “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.”