David Mirvish, founder of Mirvish Productions, and architect Frank Gehry today unveiled the conceptual design for a mixed-use project that will transform Toronto’s downtown arts and entertainment district. The multi-year, multi-phase project is the largest urban commission to date for the Toronto-born architect, bringing new cultural, residential and retail spaces to a site immediately next to the Royal Alexandra Theatre and creating a new identity for the city’s arts district.
The conceptual design, which will continue to evolve, consists of two six-story stepped podiums, which relate in scale and articulation to the neighboring buildings, topped by three iconic residential towers, ranging in size from 80 to 85 stories. Each tower has a complementary but distinctive design, which fits with the history and texture of the surrounding neighborhood. The trio of towers works together to form a dynamic still life on the skyline. The west block of the plan, oriented to King Street West, features a stepped podium with the Mirvish Collection in the atrium and planted terraces that create a green silhouette overlooking King Street and Metro Square. The east block of the plan includes the preservation of the Royal Alexandra Theatre and another stepped podium housing the OCAD University facility that fronts onto King Street West.
The project incorporates a new multi-floor facility for the OCAD University Public Learning Centre for Visual Art, Curatorial Studies and Art History, including exhibition galleries, studios, seminar rooms, and a public lecture hall. The galleries will feature curatorial programming drawn from OCAD University faculty, the OCAD University Art Collection, the OCAD University Archives and the Printmaking and Publications Research and Production Centre. +