frank gehry's latest plan for king st. development in toronto frank gehry's latest plan for king st. development in toronto
jun 19, 2013

frank gehry's latest plan for king st. development in toronto

frank gehry’s latest plan for king st. development in toronto
image courtesy of gehry international inc.




in october 2012, it was announced that frank gehry would be returning ‘home’, four years after the completion of his first toronto project which saw the canadian born architect complete a renovation for the city’s art gallery of ontario. gehry has now entered a partnership with local art collector david mirvish–who owns and operates a number of toronto’s major performance centers–to redevelop much of the mirvish family’s properties in toronto’s entertainment district along king street west, including the historic princess of wales theater and some warehouses. the project will see the establishment of three 80+ storey skyscrapers along the iconic strip between john and simcoe streets. 

the base of each tower sees a wooden beam structure which speaks to the industrial buildings they will have replaced
image courtesy of gehry international inc.




since the initial presentation, the design of the towers has evolved with gehry having recently unveiled the latest plans for the buildings which are now more indicative of his signature style. the façades are expressed through collages of fragmented organic shapes, creating curving surfaces which appear almost like ribbons of fabric folding into one another, draping over a framework of wooden beams located at their bases–these industrial structures referencing the commercial buildings which they would ultimately replace. the three volumes will house more than 2,500 residential units, along with commercial and office spaces, a large gallery for the mirvish’s extensive art collection, and will be the site of OCADU’s new campus.


the estimated timeline for completion is said to be 10 years.
see more coverage of the frank gehry and david mirvish development on designboom here.

the new design sees more of the architect’s style coming through with façades composed of fragmented organic shapes
image courtesy of gehry international inc.

image courtesy of gehry international inc.

the site is situated along toronto’s iconic king st. strip in the heart of the city’s entertainment district
image courtesy of gehry international inc.

model rendering of the three towers in the context of the site
image courtesy of gehry international inc.

image courtesy of gehry international inc.

  • Please Gehry, just stop.

    Ruubs says:
  • We really don’t want this in Toronto. Please pick another city to distribute your skyscraper crap in, please.

    hotcommodity says:
  • haters are gonna hate

    Ilya says:
  • Scrap tower ? …no so wise

    Deepak Shah says:
  • Wonderful exchange for what is in place. Albeit Toronto is extremely conservative (note Ruubs response above) but we have very few landmark buildings. At least these buildings if passed by on the street will be noticed by everyone. They will create chatter and discussion.

    James Caldwell says:
  • I think they’re pretty cool looking

    henz says:
  • Not a Gehry follower but Toronto seems to be the right city for this flowery sculpture. Bravo!

    nelsondreyes architect says:
  • I guess if he did something different it would be strange. I have always hoped that we might enjoy a further flowering of Mr. Gehry’s talents. He obviously has a certain passion for these very familiar forms but when I view his interpretation of this project proposal I see someone slapping their style onto a building or buildings that don’t take well to his interpretation of what design possibilities there might be.
    One knows what lies under the all too familiar Gehry forms and wonders why go through all of this? It is so predictable. Like the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles; it is a rectangular structure trapped in a bunch of twisted panels of metal. They are none too brilliantly executed when they focused intense beams of sunlight on the adjacent residential towers causing their interior temperatures to rise in the 100 degree mark. Is this done by the much touted A.I.A. member? so much for the A.I.A. part.
    He wishes to do a sculpture and functionality be damned. Enough of this please.

    Ron Smith says:
  • @ Ruubs, speak for yourself.

    Colt says:
  • What about saving the old buildings at the bottom? I don’t like those merely plastic architectural exercises.

    Carlos says:
  • There is an older and more conservative faction of Toronto that doesn’t want to see this project happen, but the youth want something newer and taller and more artistic than the banal glass boxes of the condo boom.

    We want to see Toronto come into it’s own. We want to see the future.

    JDM says:
  • I love these buildings! They are unique, soaring, artistic and will become iconic, a landmark of the city! This complex needs to be built!!!

    CJB says:
  • sexy

    adhi says:
  • Houses without yards !!! = Prisons in the skys

    Saleh Masoumi says:
  • Fantastic! Perfect for the city that ignored whiners before and built the CN Tower, now a true symbol of Toronto everywhere around the world.

    Joey Matula says:
  • I was wondering if they could complete it first and then maybe we can point fingers towards where exactly to dump it..the designers don’t want suggestions but I would say try a more upscale community like toronto, dallas, houston, atlanta, paris, kansas city, minneapolis, boston and nyc. I don’t see anything wrong with it but maybe i’m wrong such structures get turned down all the time.

    Kituii says:
  • Great! Appreciate your effort………….

    WRS Builder says:
  • Someone left the cake out in the rain ………………

    Lightmaker says:
  • The same whiners that are eternally surprised why Toronto doesn’t have tourists, don’t realize that either you’re going to have something to show to people and attract them, or you can keep expecting drunken smalltowners coming for hockey games as your only tourism. Toronto is, albeit its physical size, an over-built (quantity, not quality) small-town, with its small-town mentality, lack of urban spirit and missing greatly landmark architecture like the ROM, AGO and… well that’s about it! If I were Ghery, I wouldn’t even bother trying to fight the stale, boring city that would give anything to be like, e.g. NYC but doesn’t know how. I sincerely hope that buildings like these will be built in Toronto, to launch it into the shy entry-level of the real great cities of the world. And for those who oppose: pinch into that carefully tailored savings plan, go travel sometimes and see how new & old architecture can be married in great, big, cities that have existed long before when Toronto was 1 church, some mud and a road… much, much longer!

    Yoza says:

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