Thursday 31 January 2008

From the Archives- Runnymede Library

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Wednesday 30 January 2008

Ryerson on the Move

Ryerson had purchased some of the vacant and new buildings in it's neighbourhood. The move has prompted a desire to close Gould Street creating a pedestrian walk. This would help improve the campus student circulation. I don't believe you can start building sidewalk cafes as the sidewalk is already too narrow because of Kerr Hall.

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Tuesday 29 January 2008

Last Before Photo

The tender for the new offices of the Human Rights Tribunal-Ministry of the Attorney General is closing today.The office space on Bay street will soon be transformed into new hearing rooms and offices.


Monday 28 January 2008

International Style

Local architects talk about recent notable buildings and architects which have made an impact. The sad part is that the list does not include any canadian architects. Sure there is mention of the pink plastic of the Shnier Umbra store but that's just like a bucket of paint covering up an ugly brick facade. Nothing revolutionary about extruded plastic just look at your neighbours deck.

I could swear I saw a Patkau knock-off circulating the Toronto offices a few years back.


Friday 25 January 2008

LEEDing the Way?

The recent push to have a LEED building has gripped architecture.
The lastest is Honda. The irony is that it is an automotive company. What does it mean when the largest polluters are creating environmentally friendly buildings? It is great to get theses buildings but we really need to look at their product first.


Thursday 24 January 2008

Museum Subway Station Toronto

So, the debate continues over the renovations of the seldom used but crystal attached Museum subway station. The new look for the station which is almost complete is set to mimic the museum artifacts and ancient civilizations. Next on the list is Osgoode subway regardless of the fact that the TTC just 'cleaned' the station. There is something refined and timeless about the glazed tile walls of the subway stations. This same characteristic can be found riding the rails in Montreal. If this plan is a one station deal it has some merit. Once more stations adopt the persona of it's name or area it does become a ride in disneyland. When you go to a museum you expect to be transformed so the station would be 'warm-up'. But what if you loathe the concept? What if you want your museum experience separate from your commute to work? Are the bus shelters next? What if you paid in rocks to enter the station? Or all the staff dressed in linen kilts? As a one station deal it may be successful. If more stations follow.....were in trouble.

(photos top-Museum Station proposal bottom two-STCUM Montreal)

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Wednesday 23 January 2008

Cirque Designing Canadian Expo 2010

The idea of having the Cirque du Soleil designing Canada's pavilion at the upcoming expo is a strange one. Is Nike or Gatorade designing our sporting facilities? Furthermore, when has recent Expo design been of any architectural merit or contextual importance? According to the article, the Cirque has mandate to design a building. There really is not enough information about this story.... looks like Liebskind? PCL?

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Tuesday 22 January 2008

Simcoe Street Tunnel

The 45 million cost to connect the Simcoe streets is set to take place. The bill will be split by the city and the Fairmount Hotels.Our office is very close to 'northern' Simcoe St. It currently is home to several parking taxis and very little traffic both pedestrian vehicular.Probably best know as a 'short-cut' street. The extension should help will access to the waterfront and to the core only if it is made a two-way street.

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Monday 21 January 2008

Jarvis St. Slip

The design competition has kicked off for the Jarvis St. slip. There is merit in all three schemes which will be on display at metro hall in the upcoming days. However, there is something unusual and silly to the Montreal scheme(personal choice) which probably means Toronto's 'design' politicians won't choose it. The only negative is that it does ignore the seasonal change but perhaps that is the global warming and environmental aspect. The remaining schemes offer large urban sculptures in a large space along the lines of a Chicago's urban park with one quarter the population. The so called 'canadarms-shipping cranes' are interesting but their scale lacks a pedestrian connection. If NASA is any indication then the $4 million budget might get you one of them. Eventually, the maintenance will keep it in one position. The 'shimmering wall sculpture' also has scale issues. The condos already give us a waterfront wall-environmental or not. The scheme is at least seasonal. Lastly, the referenced article already awards the project through cynicism and/or personal preference.

Another day in Toronto's design community.
(photos top to bottom- J Rosenberg, DTAH-west 8 and Cormier)


Friday 18 January 2008

Website Update Snapshot


Thursday 17 January 2008

Toronto Library Design

G. Bruce Stratton Architects has always contributed to the design of Toronto's Public Libraries. Today, the system is one of the busiest in the world. More important, the facilities are being updated yearly. Financially, the city cannot take the approach of the Art galleries or Museum. As a result, libraries are a good representation of civic architecture and architects throughout the years.


New Offices- Ministry of the Attorney General

The new design for the offices of the Human Rights Tribunal division of the Ministry are currently out for tender. The new spaces include several environmentally friendly materials. The walnut veneer will provide a rich accent to the muted tones of the floors and walls. The project will be completed in the late spring. Photo updates of the construction to follow shortly.


Wednesday 16 January 2008

Retail Design - Comme des Garçons


Catching on to Robson Square

As a previous resident in Vancouver, the proposal for Robson Square raised an eyebrow on this blog(Monday January 7, 2008). It appears now that the RAIC has also taken note of this wooden roof proposal. Now if only someone would read our post abot the Hummingbird Centre or the Front St. silos.


Tuesday 15 January 2008

G. Bruce Stratton Architects Website Update

We are currently updating our website. The update should launch in the next week. There will be additional new projects with images as well as some previous projects. There will also be a brief on some office charity work.

Keep checking back!!!


Monday 14 January 2008

Toronto to Montreal Housing

It appears as if Montreal is set to join in on the condo building.
The city temporarily avoided the taller residential buildings of Toronto and New York . This is due to the fact that Montreal had a large stock of older schools, churches, and factories which were ideal for new core development. During the last referendum bargain houses went up for sale daily. These same homes, some of which were on the Plateau, are now too expensive for most Montrealers.

So, architecturally, just expect more and more of that 'Montreal modernism' but taller.


Friday 11 January 2008

From the Travel Archives -Paris Library


Thursday 10 January 2008

Christmas 2007

A photo from our party.......


Wednesday 9 January 2008

Hotel Design

It appears as if individually designed or themed rooms is the direction hotels are taking. The traveller is looking beyong the inexpensive and benal and including their stay as part of the trip experience. NY Habitat offers apartments that are large enough or vacant to house guests. For the real NY experience this is highly recommended. These artist rooms now appear as a real alternative.

Gladstone Hotel

Hotel Fox

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Tuesday 8 January 2008

Architects and What They Wear

So, I always thought you can stereotype architects by their clothing.
I think this becomes more evident working in the larger firms as you jockey for position. A quick reference would be to look at the firm profile photos in this month's Canadian Architect Awards issue.
Perhaps, this is altogether nothing new. Or maybe it can be said about all professions. Regardless, you can't help but chuckle now and again.


Monday 7 January 2008

Sci-Arc's Boardroom Table


West Coast Revival

Looks like Robson Square is headed for some renovations. The artists renderings seem hard to find but this Vancouver move seems to have as much interest as the Safdie 'coloseum' library. Vancouver always seems hesitant to embrace drastic change perhaps because it is caught between big city and small city. A wooden umbrella...hmmmmmmm I think I now see why.

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Friday 4 January 2008

Ontario Investment Services New Interior Photo Update


Thursday 3 January 2008

Artemide- From the Red Dot Awards


Wednesday 2 January 2008

Cool Stuff

red dot awards

The Queen Car - A Story

So, the queen streetcar has been named as one of the top city rides. As one who has ridden the western portion of the line for over 20 years I can agree. I have also taken the rides in San Francisco, Berlin and Lisbon. The atmosphere on the car on a late Saturday night is always entertaining. In fact, the patrons are as eclectic as the buildings the car passes. One of my fondest memories is when I got the driver to run a red light for me at 3am so I could get home faster. The ride does offer a good mix of Toronto architecture. From some of the modernist apartment blocks and veteran housing in Mimico to the Victorian storefronts in Parkdale there is a good timeline of a developing Toronto.


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