frank gehry has refined his design for toronto’s much-anticipated king street west project, which comprises two towers formed from stacked vertical volumes. the latest updates to the design maintain both the height and density that were approved in a 2017 zoning by-law amendment. specifically, the latest changes adjust the organization of the towers on the site, enhance the podiums and optimize the floor plates of both towers to offer views from each vantage point in the buildings. ‘with this project, I wanted to create an ensemble of buildings that were respectful to the city and referential to the toronto that I once knew,’ says gehry, who was born in the canadian city.

frank gehry refines design for toronto's king street west project
all images by sora, courtesy of gehry partners, LLP



the refined design was showcased by great gulf, westdale properties, and dream unlimited — the development team behind the project — at a community meeting organized by the city of toronto. located at the intersection of king street west and ed mirvish way, the project’s exterior building envelope features a unique textured metal and glass façade. ‘I wanted the two towers to each have their own personality, but I also wanted them to talk to each other, creating a dynamic and changing addition to the skyline depending where you were viewing them from in the city,’ continues frank gehry. ‘the detailing of the exterior is intended to give the buildings a human scale and hopefully reflect the light and color from the city and the sky around it.’

frank gehry refines design for toronto's king street west project



‘this will be the most talked about mixed-use development in the history of toronto and we’re thrilled to meet with the public to share the design updates of an unprecedented architectural project,’ says mitchell cohen, chief operating officer, westdale properties. ‘this project represents a coming home for frank gehry to the city he loves and will be one of his most significant architectural achievements. he is the heart and soul of the project and it has been an honor working with him and his team. we’re excited to be progressing in our goal to execute frank’s vision for the development of such an important site in downtown toronto.’

frank gehry refines design for toronto's king street west project



the mixed-use development will include new space for OCAD university as well as commercial, retail, and residential spaces. the changes to the podium incorporate the façade of the heritage anderson building which was built in 1915, while respecting the views of both the royal alexandra theatre and the princess of wales theatre, which bookend the project. upon completion, the west tower will be the tallest gehry-designed building in the world.


the latest design updates include some variances that reflect the changes to the massing and design intent for the project. as a next step, these variances will be brought to the committee of adjustment for approval. a package was submitted to the city in december 2020 for review.



project info:


name: king street west project
location: toronto, canada
architect: frank gehry / gehry partners, LLP
development team: great gulf, westdale properties, and dream unlimited