Gehry edits Canadian skyscraper plan to be 'more Toronto'

The Mirvish-Gehry Toronto towers will house residential, retail, office, and gallery spaces in the center of Toronto's entertainment district.

July 03, 2014 |
Rendering courtesy of Mirvish+Gehry Toronto

With his signature, outlandish, and dramatic forms, people usually either love or hate a Frank Gehry building in their vicinity.

After Gehry’s proposed skyscraper complex was put down by critics, he recently unveiled a reworked design that reduces the number of towers from three to two from the original plan for the development in Toronto’s entertainment district, DeZeen reports.

In addition to reducing the number of towers, he increased the number of floors—the original plan topped out at 86 stories for the tallest building; The revised plan tops out at 92 stories. The new design also allows the existing Princess of Wales Theatre at King Street West to remain, as the original plan would have required it to be demolished.

The mixed-use project, which is done in collaboration with Canadian art tycoon David Mirvish, is named the Mirvish+Gehry Toronto. According to the project's website, the building will "create a new visual identity for the city’s premier arts district. The conceptual designs, which will continue to evolve, consist of two six-story stepped podiums, which relate in scale and articulation to the neighbouring buildings, topped by two iconic residential towers, ranging in size from 82 to 92 storys. Each tower has a complementary but distinctive design, which fits with the history and texture of the surrounding neighbourhood."

The complex will house residential, retail, office, gallery and recreational spaces.



In an interview with the Toronto Star, Gehry, who was born in Toronto in 1929 and lived there until he moved to California as a teenager with his family, says that with two towers instead, he thinks the project is “more Toronto.”

“Fred and Ginger grew up and moved to Toronto,” Gehry joked, referencing how having two towers instead makes it similar to the Dancing House building he designed in Prague that also came under scrutiny at the time, with many dismissing it as an eyesore.

“In a way, two towers feel better. It’s not so crowded.”


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