Dundas Square is designed as a space of openness and clarity, revealing and making accessible the phenomena of the contemporary city centre. It gives form to the energy of the Yonge-Dundas intersection, creating a charged void. Daylight and electric light transform the material and spatial qualities of the Square, creating a constantly changing environment. The space of the Square is defined by the surfaces of existing and future buildings, incorporating into its vision the spaces of adjacent streets.
Ground: The surface of the Square is viewed as a constructed layer. It is characterized by its lightness and openness, providing a sense of joyful suspension and freedom.
Nature: Vegetation within the city centre is viewed as an exception, a phenomenon both highly revered and marginal. Highly articulated synthetic elements substitute for the transitory effects usually associated with natural phenomena.
Water Rather than conceived of as a fixed object, water is incorporated into the Square as an environmental phenomenon.
Air : Mist and light pive substance to air which is emitted through surface grills from subterranean sources. Wind is deflected from the centre of the Square by transparent vertical planes. A sculptural work tloats above the Square; a cloud of optical delight.
Light: Sunlight is partially screened, refracted and diffracted by specialized elements on the Square. They similarly react to the artificial lights of the city at night - automobiles, streetlights, buildings
The site image is strong, makes a clear statement about public space and has positive effects in each direction. The scheme made the square as large as it could possibly be, providing a flat usable floor that could support a great diversity of programmed and unprogrammed function, maintaining its openness and visibility and providing a space of passage in the east-west direction. In this scheme light is used as an element, the glass pavilion is like a cathedral, an art piece. There is a very persuasive concern for detail the surface has texture and treatment that is not overwhelming, a rather Japanese feel. The poetics are sensitive and appropriate a juxtaposition between high-tech, contemporary imagery and the delicate sights, sounds and fell of hells, mist and light. There is a concern that the effects are too delicate for so public a place the artwork elements are insufficiently explained, especially "Falling Leaves", which is crucial to the scheme. There is no convincing written or graphic description. The glass tower is weak and the pavilion at the north-west corner of the site is too high, duplicating and obstructing the relationship with the Metropolis facade. Too much tech, too much event, the scheme tries to compete with what is going on around and the cobble present an historical image that is inappropriate.
This is a design with the strength and clarity to embrace a wide variety of uses and users it offers a flexible plane, a stage for Impromptu performance and planned events, a safe a welcoming ground for weekend families, student gatherings, evening revelers and shoppers alike. It understands its place in the family of downtown public spaces and offers something new and consistent with the district around. Of all the schemes this one had the best understanding of how important it will be to link the square to the southern block, extending the scale of the space and giving a sense of respite from the surrounding traffic and streetcars. The lavers of life and activity are subtle and promising – using all the senses, and coming alive in different ways at different times of day and night. The Dundas edge is particularly interesting suggesting place to gather and sit, to observe the fountains, to feel a sense of separation and protection.
Suggestions are made as to the performance potentials of the space, a projection screen, a light tower and so forth. The challenges of the scheme focus primarily on the choice of the light tower and light gallery – their location, their importance in the scheme, and most importantly their height. The surrounding buildings and new developments will invest significantly in their facades, made up of lighted glass galleries, projection screens, media towers and the like. Competition in the square and in particular the blocking of the view to the new Metropolis three level retail would he particularly problematic.
This simple scheme with willful clarity establishes an elegant presence to offset highly activated surroundings. The strength of this scheme is in the combination of the E/W structure of the grid with the less willful movement of the connective tissue above the plaza. The major concerns arc that the three dimensional quality of the glass tower and pavilion seem to interfere with the visibility and connectivity with the Metropolis Facade which we feel should remain major to scheme and major to the E/W orientation of the grid.
(From competition documentation)
43 scanned / 3 viewable
- Presentation Panel
- Presentation Panel
- Presentation Panel