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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 2:09 AM
dleung dleung is offline
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Office tower envy

I was in Sydney a few weekends ago, and it struck me how much better Australian architecture seems to be. Their new condos don't all look the same like in Canada, and their office towers have a London-grade quality to it not seen in Canada, both in terms of architecture and luxurious use of space. Here are some of their more recent office towers:

1 Bligh: 30 storey atrium with curved glass...


8 Chifley square - By Richard Rogers -


111eaglestreet.jpg - Columns inspired by mangrove trees...


Richard Johnson Square... one third of the 200-meter tower's volume and height... is an atrium


By Renzo Piano, dating back to 2000.


163 castlereagh.jpg - This one is less about the tower than the complex urban treatment at grade


85 castlereagh.jpg



In Canada, only the Bow comes close.




Meanwhile in Toronto...






Vancouver:


The reason why I'm focusing on Sydney, rather than "why don't we have nice buildings like in London", is because Sydney is a smaller city than Toronto, with a smaller market, and still manages to do better.

Last edited by dleung; Apr 6, 2012 at 2:32 AM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 2:11 AM
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Canada has a more conservative taste in architecture.




It sucks.
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  #3  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 2:25 AM
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why is this even here?..
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  #4  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 2:41 AM
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Aside from the atria (sad what the Bow could have had), I see some very nice towers, but not on a completely other level than what Canada has been building.
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  #5  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 2:44 AM
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I actually like our Vancouver projects. The MNP tower especially, i noticed you purposely choose its worst looking render to post (smaller too) Same with the Credit Suisse tower. Actually a very nice looking proposal, but all you showed was its crown.
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 2:49 AM
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I really don't like Australian architecture and the Pacific region as a whole. There are a number of gems that Canada has no reply for however, most of it comes across as tacky and superfluous.

Both Vancouver and Toronto which currently influence design in Canada suffer from inferior materials rather than design; notably window-wall over curtain-wall.
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  #7  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 2:55 AM
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All the towers posted here are curtain wall. Look at the Toronto line-up and tell me it isn't a design issue
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  #8  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 2:58 AM
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That first Australian building picture set is amazing!


But I actually think that, at least, Vancouver is certainly going in the right direction. Toronto hasn't really showed any movement in the management/design of its public spaces around towers but look at the improvements they're making with projects like Telus Garden and MNP? Granted MNP isn't doing that much for the public but for its less than 10 000 square foot ground floorplate, they do pretty darn well!
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  #9  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 3:22 AM
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Originally Posted by dleung View Post
All the towers posted here are curtain wall. Look at the Toronto line-up and tell me it isn't a design issue
A bunch of pension-funded commercial ventures hardly speaks of design in Toronto. I look towards the market as a whole in which case design is dominated by condominiums. I also find innovative and daring design overstated particular in residential construction which is largely developed on shoestring budgets. The outcome rarely lives up to its potential and innovative simply becomes an excuse for acceptance.

I like your choices aside from Richard Johnson Square which, to my inner pragmatist, is downright wasteful however, did I not state that Australia offers gems that are unmatched in Canada? I care more about the median offering and, in my opinion, we would kick their asses if we eliminated window-wall.
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  #10  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 3:51 AM
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Toronto really dropped the ball on the South Core area south of Union Station.
Given the proximity to Union Station and the prime real estate, those towers should have been signature buildings and a lot taller.
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  #11  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 4:52 AM
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Originally Posted by G.S MTL View Post
why is this even here?..
Because dleung has nothing better to do?
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 12:27 PM
isaidso isaidso is offline
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Originally Posted by vid View Post
Canada has a more conservative taste in architecture.

It sucks.
Canadian skyscrapers are utilitarian and functional, with little regard for flair, elegance, style. We think putting a barely noticeable curve into a building is tantamount to audacious and over the top design. Canadians are insufferably under stated people. The result: 80% of architecture in Canada is coma inducing. That said, I don't think the photos selected by dleung were fair but new Australian/British buildings are more aesthetically pleasing overall.
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Last edited by isaidso; Apr 6, 2012 at 12:39 PM.
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  #13  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 4:36 PM
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It's that conservative and understated nature that helped our banking sector, and as a result, our economy, sail through the recession, and thereby maintained and extended the building boom for the last 3 years.

In other words, we're getting quantity over quality. To some degree, I think that it's necessary step, for the following reason. Some may not remember but prior to this current boom, downtown Toronto was absolutely littered with parking lots and brownfields. As a result land was relatively cheap and it didn't take much for a developer to turn a profit. Today, downtown Toronto is far more built out. There are only a handful of empty lots remaining and developers have started to turn toward demolishing underbuilt lots. As a result, the cost of land is rising in Toronto. Accordingly in order to turn a healthy profit developers either have to go even taller or bring a higher end product to the table.

So far the former has been the dominant choice, but it faces an inevitable limit. While people lament the design of Ten York or 90 Harbour, a decade ago they'd have likely been fawned over. Design is improving. The trouble is that we've seen those kinds of designs so much already that we've come to view them as typical and run-of-the-mill. Of course, people's expectations move faster than reality.

Now you're starting to see more projects like Theatre Park, Exhibit, Picasso, Monde, the Gansevoort Distillery tower, 100 Adelaide, Massey Tower and the upcoming Bjarke Ingels project. Not world shakers, but bolder than anything else in Toronto. We're growing up... slowly.
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  #14  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 4:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegeta_skyline View Post
Because dleung has nothing better to do?
I love how these examples were omitted or just overlooked. Aside from the first towers atrium being very nice I see nothing to be jealous of.









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  #15  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 7:37 PM
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Originally Posted by G.S MTL View Post
why is this even here?..
Because this is a discussion forum.
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  #16  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 7:57 PM
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Pwned.
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  #17  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 10:20 PM
isaidso isaidso is offline
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Originally Posted by Ramako View Post
It's that conservative and understated nature that helped our banking sector, and as a result, our economy, sail through the recession, and thereby maintained and extended the building boom for the last 3 years.
True, but you don't want people like that to be your designers/artists. Architecture is supposed to be a creative science, not accounting. I agree with the rest of what you said.
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  #18  
Old Posted Apr 6, 2012, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Andrewjm3D View Post
I love how these examples were omitted or just overlooked. Aside from the first towers atrium being very nice I see nothing to be jealous of.
Not to mention ....

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  #19  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2012, 1:36 AM
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Pwned.
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  #20  
Old Posted Apr 7, 2012, 1:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
True, but you don't want people like that to be your designers/artists. Architecture is supposed to be a creative science, not accounting. I agree with the rest of what you said.
Accounting can be a creative science as well.
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