Saturday, June 03, 2006

And the Winner is.....

His_worship_mayor_david_millerI went down to the waterfront yesterday for the announcement of the winning design for the central waterfront.....
I was disappointed at first (I guess you can surmise that my favourite design was not chosen), but then I was actually pleasantly surprised to realize that the winning design was the best choice....... drumroll please..... the winning design was that of the West8 West8team......










ya the design with the tacky gigantic Maple Leaf..... I guess that really turned me off when I first saw it, that I didn't really give their design much of a chance when I listened to their presentation last month.....but like I said before, they had a lot of nice details in their design.....I was given a copy of their powerpoint presentation at the announcement ceremony, so I was able to go over it again.....I very much appreciated the fact that they put much thought into their design, guided by principles rooted in Canadiana.....hence the giant maple leaf I guess.....West8_overview





Ingrained in every Canadian's psyche is the image of summer's spent at the cottage by a lake.....a wooden dock extending into the water..........Urban_lakefront

from this image comes West8's vision for the waterfront..... the city is the cottage and Lake Ontario the lake.....Toronto seems to have ignored our "natural" heritage in the development of the waterfront, evident by the lack of trees.....in fact this "ignorance" of nature extends from the waterfront into suburbia....when I used to fly back and forth between Manila, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Vancouver, and Toronto, the first thing I noticed flying over Toronto was the relative lack of large stands of trees, and the abundance of urban sprawl.....that is not the image of Canada I was indoctrinated with all my life, and it was very disappointing.....the West8 plan seeks to remedy this by planting double rows of large native species of trees..... Green_footas they put it, 'from "naked waterfront" to "green foot", an authentic Canadian wilderness is planted at the base of the metropolis'....'a robust landscape with a strength and presence of equal majesty to the city's skyline'.....bravo....



Another excellent aspect of the West8 plan is the transformation of Queens Quay BoulevardQueensquay_existing..... currently it has 4 lanes dedicated to cars, 2 for the streetcars and whatever is left over for pedestrians, bikes, Queensquay_nowskaters, and what not.....the plan is to take 2 of the car lanes (eastbound lanes) and give it to the people, and to the trees as well.... in additionQueensquay_after, unlike the four other design concepts, the West8 plan does not call for the streetcar tracks to be moved..... this brings us to the very important fact that this means the West8 plan is more feasible, less expensive, and as it was re-iterated during the ceremony yesterday, this means we will be able to see the results of this plan "sooner rather than later".....in fact, the south side of Queens Quay may be closed as early as this summer for the start of construction, to give us a glimpse of the ultimate design concept sooner rather than laterQueensquay .....



I was comforted when comments were made regarding elements of the design that were described as "kitschy and unconvincing".....namely the huge maple leaf thing....the Chinese Dragons at the foot of Spadina....and that resources should be concentrated in the more "convincing" aspects of the design..... I think the overall design still needs something on the grand scale though, something impressive like those ship-like structures in the Foster and Partners design....incidentally, one reason against that design, as well as the P.O.R.T. design with the weather viens jutting out of the water, was the fact that anything permanently placed within the inner harbour would interfere with established water traffic routes......more importantly, it would need to go through a long approval process.....and I think people are pretty much tired of waiting to see results on the waterfront revitalization....so enough talk already, lets see some construction.....West8_vision Angelo de los Angeles

8 comments:

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Ancient Clown said...

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-Walt Maken
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your humble servant,
Ancient Clown

Cat said...

Angelo, i'm Cat from Taiwan. Thanks for your dropping by my little cat country.

Hei~i have a same wristlet like yours in the "cat drinking picture."

Are you an architect? You must the best one, i think...that's why there are many buildings & girls in your blog.

Give my kisses & hugs to poor Nermal♥

Omar Nimri said...

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best of luck from Jordan!

Filipe Alves Ferreira said...

Hello,

Beautiful Toronto as yours blogs.

Best regards/Filipe

Travel to Toronto said...

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Travel to Toronto said...

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