This morning, David Mirvish and Frank Gehry made the official announcement of their plans for King West.
The plan calls for three residential towers, reaching approximately 80 storeys. A new 60,000 square foot public art gallery, called Mirvish Collection, is included in the plans, as well as a new campus for OCAD University.
David Mirvish spoke first, starting with, “I’m interested in architecture because it tells us who we are.” The Mirvish family has been involved in the growth of Toronto for decades, and it is only fitting that they are the ones involved in developing this iconic project.
Before David Mirvish passed the mic to Frank Gehry, he said, “I’m not building condominiums, I’m building three sculptures for people to live in.”
Frank Gehry has a strong history in Toronto. Gehry opened with, “I walked around these streets in my childhood, and I remember them in a way that doesn’t exist anymore.” Gehry stressed that these new towers will reflect old Toronto, reminding everyone of what the city was, what it is, and where it is going. They will be using terracotta and other ceramics in the construction and design of the towers to help make the connection between old Toronto and new Toronto.
The podiums of the project play a very important role. Gehry stated that he wants the towers to seem as if they are descending to the street and spreading, rather than rising. Alongside the new OCAD campus and Mirvish Collection, there will be new shops and restaurants, all of which, evoking the King West vibe, as well as Toronto’s historical charm.
Frank Gehry concluded with, “As a kid, I used to go up and down John St., and to think of it as a main corridor is exciting.”
We are really looking forward to watching this new King West project by Mirvish and Frank Gehry develop. To read David Mirvish’s letter outlining more details of the project, click here.