Architectural Instincts and Imagination
This exhibition surveys third year architecture students at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. Students were asked to re-imagine the Toronto Island Airport as a new public space for the City of Toronto. The projects look forward and imagine the city as a place open to change, always learning and adapting, becoming more beautiful, and more relevant to her citizens. The context for the work is Toronto’s current policy of urban densification which has brought unprecedented high rise condominium construction to the city. Issues such as the stress placed on existing public transportation are well documented. Less discussed challenges include increased pressures placed on hospital waiting rooms and the need for new public spaces.
Though founded on the shores of Lake Ontario, Toronto’s relationship to the waters’ edge has not been simple. Depending on circumstances, the waterfront found itself commandeered to serve the needs of industry, infrastructure, politics and real estate. Fueled by a mix of opportunism and indifference these interests coexisted in an unhappy alliance that produced an all too familiar urban mongrel. Standing on the islands and looking north, Toronto’s brash skyline totally dominates our gaze. But turn and walk towards the south facing board walk and prepare to be astonished as the great city disappears into empty horizon.
Andrew Levitt & Victoria Taylor