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Old March 29th, 2006, 11:23 PM   #1
jeicow
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Landmark Tower in Suburban TO



New shape of Mississauga
Mar. 29, 2006. 10:39 AM
CHRISTOPHER HUME
Toronto Star

Everyone's heard of the Bilbao Effect, but what about the Mississauga Effect?

Don't laugh, it could happen; especially now that the winner of that city's first-ever international condo design competition has been revealed. Selected from 92 submissions from 70 countries, the chosen entry is a stunning and sensuous 50-storey tower that dips and curves in all the right places.

Already it has been nicknamed Marilyn Monroe.


Created by a young Beijing-based firm, MAD, this is no ordinary architectural icon. It's a statement about the power of design to establish a sense of place and context.

"Suburbs around the world want to become metropolises," Yansong Ma, founder of MAD, said yesterday. "But we don't think they should. They have their own character. They should create their own identity."

Certainly, Ma's tower, named Absolute by the developers, Cityzen Development Group and Fernbrook Homes, will accomplish that.

"It had to be iconic," Ma insisted. "Since the early 20th century, the highrise has been the symbol of urban life."

MAD's highrise will be the most recognizable structure in Mississauga. Located at the corner of Hurontario St. and Burnhamthorpe Rd., it will be within walking distance of the city's only other landmark — Square One Shopping Centre excepted — and that's its city hall, designed in the early 1980s by Ed Jones and Michael Kirkland. It was also chosen by a competition, but in that case, the scope was national, not global. Still, the building is considered a post-modern classic, visited by architects from around the world.

By contrast, Absolute represents a distinctly 21st-century sensibility, a kind of neo-expressionistic esthetic that blurs the distinction between art and architecture. This is a highly sculptural work that balances the demands of form and function in a strictly contemporary fashion.

Of course, much remains to be done before construction starts next year. Ma and his partners visited Mississauga for the first time this year and have just completed conceptual drawings. Now they must start the more demanding job of producing detailed drawings. For that, they will join with a local architectural firm.

"We believe design counts," said Fernbrook president Danny Salvatore. "Great design makes sound business sense."

Too bad the rest of Mississauga wasn't built by developers who share his faith in architecture. But, he continued, the market has grown up and is now demanding projects such as this that stand out above the rest.

Even Mississauga's long-serving mayor, Hazel McCallion, declared herself thrilled with the decision. "We started 40 years ago in a hayfield," said the veteran politician, whose proudest claim is that her city remains debt free. "This is a dream come true."

In fact, it's a dream few Mississauga residents would have bothered with until now. Despite McCallion's boast, hers is a city desperately in need of an identity that goes beyond its lack of debt. You get what you pay for, of course, and in Mississauga that's been precious little.

But that's old news. What's interesting this time is that the private sector has moved in to fill the void left by officialdom. What McCallion and her council have failed to provide — namely a place where there's a there there — will now be addressed by a development consortium.

That alone makes the project remarkable, even without Marilyn Monroe.

In the meantime, the burning question amongst prospective buyers isn't price but location: leg, breast or thigh?

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Old March 29th, 2006, 11:48 PM   #2
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This should be in the Highrise news and developments thread. You should ask a mod to lock this and copy paste the story to that section.

But this condo is beautiful. The rest for the competetion sucked...
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Old March 30th, 2006, 12:31 AM   #3
jeicow
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^ I just spent 10 minutes trying to find this under the High Rise Development Thread before realizing I posted in here. I PM a mod asking them to close this.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 01:43 AM   #4
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I like this one. Even though I will rarely be able to see it (40 minute drive), this will be great for the area and would be a landmark -- if built like the renders.

There was a huge render on the front page of the Toronto Star today too.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:18 AM   #5
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Saphire Towers

Hi! I'm new, just joined today! I just wanted to say hi! I live in Ontario, Canada so this building really appeals to me to! Here's another building (I'm not sure if you've discussed it before or if it will in fact be built, or if it's a concept design). The Saphire Tower, Toronto, looks pretty cool....

http://backup.sevenl.net/~cassius/Ca...eTower.web.jpg
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paradine
Hi! I'm new, just joined today! I just wanted to say hi! I live in Ontario, Canada so this building really appeals to me to! Here's another building (I'm not sure if you've discussed it before or if it will in fact be built, or if it's a concept design). The Saphire Tower, Toronto, looks pretty cool....

http://backup.sevenl.net/~cassius/Ca...eTower.web.jpg

Hi Paradine. Welcome to the forums.

If you are interested in Toronto developments, come over to the Toronto forums
Development Forums: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/forumdisplay.php?f=511

We have been talking about the Sapphire Tower for quite a loooooong time
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:25 AM   #7
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Cool! . While I have someone online (I've been trying to add people's MSN from this forum) I have a question...

Okay, I'm always drawing little buildings and skyscrapers on MS Paint; I was wondering if anyone knows of any programs that I could actually MAKE a 3D building or structure out of? I mean, one thats not TO hard. I've tried gMax, and it's waaay to complex!

Thanks!
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:27 AM   #8
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Find Cassius and ask him, he is the master of 3d modeling, at least around the T.O. forums he is.

Also Welcome.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:29 AM   #9
Paradine
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Looking at the link I posted about the Saphire Tower, looks like he made that one?! Wow! I see Cassius in the url, I guess thats him!
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Old March 30th, 2006, 02:39 AM   #10
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Yes, cassius has done several Sapphire tower renders in the past for Harry Stinson, the developer.

What's great with the Toronto group is that there is a group of really talented modellers -- cassius, elliot, neilio, just to name a few. One could really learn a great deal from them.

There are also others from around the world who would probably help out too, just start a thread or look around on the international forums.
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Old March 30th, 2006, 05:52 PM   #11
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Winning condo design has sexy silhouette
29 March 2006
The Globe and Mail

A romantically feminine, curvaceous skyscraper, reminiscent of a tight dress with Marilyn Monroe inside, has won a closely watched architectural competition for one of the Greater Toronto Area's most important intersections.

The announcement was made yesterday atop the CN Tower by Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, who quipped that she might now have to settle for second place as her home city's sexiest lady.

The avant-garde winning design for the 50-storey, 450-suite residential tower in Mississauga's Absolute development was submitted by Chinese-American architect Yansong Ma, whose MAD office operates studios in Ann Arbor, Mich., and in Beijing.

Mr. Ma received $25,000 this year when his proposal made the competition's semi-finals. He and his MAD office team will receive $125,000 toward preparation of plans and drawings. The construction cost of the building is estimated by the developers at $110-million to $130-million.

Mr. Ma's skyscraper will be part of the Absolute condominium project, now under construction at the intersection of Hurontario Street and Burnhamthorpe Road. Three shorter buildings, designed by the Toronto firm Burka Varacalli Architects, are near completion or under way on the 4.4-hectare corner site; a fourth short one is planned to go in beside the competition tower.

Organized by Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen Development Group, co-developers of the Absolute site, the international competition attracted 92 entries from architectural firms in 70 countries. Their challenge was to come up with a landmark residential tower scheme, 50 to 60 storeys tall, that would make a powerful architectural impact in the largely low-rise suburban city immediately west of Toronto.

A list of six finalists was announced in January. The competition attracted considerable public attention at that time, largely due to the high design quality and imaginative vigour of the six final choices.

The works left standing at the end of the competition's first round represented several international impulses in contemporary tall-building design: an emphasis on skin and surface and colour, for example, and an interest in marrying conventional construction technologies and techniques with unusual formal moves and gestures.

Though common in the cases of museums and other public institutions, open design competitions by private housing developers are rare. The nine-person jury for the Absolute contest included — in addition to strong representation from the developers — architects, urban planners and urban-design experts.

“Design is important, and it will become more and more important,” said Danny Salvatore, president of Fernbrook Homes and a jury member. “Design has become a differentiator in the market.”

The theatrical Absolute tower will be MAD office's first commission outside China.

“My work has always tried to develop something more organic, more close to nature,” Mr. Ma said. He conceives of his work as a criticism of the boxy towers typical of 20th-century modernism.

“They were not flexible enough, they are very close to the Industrial Revolution. Social relations have more complexity, so we need more complexity in this building. We are doing museums, all kinds of projects, but high-rises have close relations with technology and culture. High-rises are landmarks of culture.”
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Old March 30th, 2006, 09:06 PM   #12
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Wow, it looks pretty sweet! I love the design, we need something like that in Calgary, I'm shure it'll serve its purpose as a true landmark for Missisasuga.
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