Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 04/06/2007 - 10:15.

Seems like a simple idea, but I've never seen it elsewhere.   Will Alsop
pulls it off with aplomb. Come to class and you're smiling before you get inside the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U).  

Right up McCaul there's Breuer Brutalism - TU's Robarts Library.  The Commissioners should grab a Greyhound and take a visit.   Maybe their appreciation can be piqued. 

Happy Easter!

Toronto---Sharpe-school-of-.jpg353.13 KB
Breuer and new.JPG35.32 KB
( categories: )

you mean Robarts?

Is this the building you refer to? Robarts Library at the University of Toronto?

Call me a classicist... I think the Alsop thing is hideous. Where's Twiggy? Where's Petula Clark?

I prefer our brut to theirs

The Robarts Building is an interesting design, but I like the clean lines and placement, materials and proportions of the Breuer tower in downtown Cleveland better. But, if this region doesn't get its act together, we won't be able to say that for long. The more I look at our Breuer, and the otherwise cheap and unimpressive architecture of most buidlings in this region, the more I feel it is critical to save this landmark.

My new suggestion is to build a dome on either Jacobs Field or Browns stadium so both teams (and fans) can have one useful place for their little fun and games and give the other site to the County to demolish one of those lame structures - free taxpayers of supporting two bad stadiums with just one good stadium - let one of those superchurches use it for Sunday services. too, and that can pay for the whole project and debt service. The county can build right in the middle of one of them so 50,000 people can sit and watch government in action.

Disrupt IT

I love the Alsop... is is featured in the UCI visioning brochure

Jeff, I too am taken by the Alsop art school in Toronto and had the pleasure of touring the place thoroughly - lots of photos from there, here - I was also interested to see it featured as an example of what may be done at University Circle in their visioning... see the brochure here.

Disrupt IT

better views

Thanks. These are better views. My opinion of Alsop is swayed. Jeff's view had me spinning and didn't show the context, but now I see it.

Notice how people use the windows - love the views

There are lots of things I love about this building. It's up above the old buildings, instead of replacing them. It is bright and colorful, with great plays of color. Inside, it is clean and open - not overdesigned - but the windows really complete the package - not walls of glass but portals - you feel like you are in a space ship, just like one would think from outside. And this is next to the museum, which is getting a new wing by Gehry, so they will have two landmark contemporary arts buildings of huge scale all within the same city block (bordering a great park. Lots of public space all around - totally walkable neighborhoods in every direction, all full of affordable and upscale older housing and life facilities - if only UCI would look at the whole package, beyond the monuments and grand spaces to livable places.

Disrupt IT


I posted Alsop in a rush, so I appreciate Norm's more thorough recap.  Right on. I'll get shots of the new Gehry and the Sharpe up tomorrow.

Sharp Centre for Design, Toronto, Canada - View North on McCaul

Susan, here's a view with a little more context.  It is interesting to feel how the trolly traffic control signs (yellow illuminated X's), the trollly power messenger cables, the steel rails in the pavement, the street light arms, the electric wires, and other infra structure play with the view.

yep looks cool

What's in the big hunk of b&w up top?


 The 20 or so photos that Norm has included in the comments to this post show the interior of the Dalmatian.  That's where classes and workshops are - as well as in the lower buildings.

Breuer a handsome figure on the runway

I agree Norm. I think of this building as a tall handsome well dressed man with stylish sophistication. So maybe the commissioners showed their sense of style when voting.

Peter voted to save something like this

Tim and Jim head off to Burlington Coat Factory; no Peer Gordon, Bunce Brothers for Timmy and Jimmy. Whoever it was who said it is buildings like the Breuer that drive away the younger generation obviously hasn’t seen John Varvatos’ 2007 Fall line yet.

Beautifully posed... I see the new vision like this...

I think what they have in mind is more decorative and hometown Cleveland... in my mind I see this being the Breuer replacement:

Although after hearing county master planner and architect Madison explain how they have plans, without having plans, perhaps the vision is more bare... the emporer has no clothes...

Disrupt IT

Old Breuer vs. no Breuer - a $250 million expert opinion

I was at the Cleveland Museum today, where we are spending $250 million to preserve a Breuer, and creating a celebration of that. Perhaps those who do not understand art can learn from those who we hired in international searches to do that for us, and for whom we are spending $250 million, because we believe they do understand art (might be their Ph.Ds on such things) - and they believe Breuer is important! Below is the old Breuer at the museum (right), and the carbon copy $250 million new Breuer (left) - do you get it yet? If the museum is wrong, call them on it. But, it seems Lawson Jones, Viñoly, the museum directors past and present, and all their trustees and donors are right, and Hagan is wrong, and Dimora doesn't care one way or the other, and probably doesn't want to take a stand on this one. Seems like 1 against the most powerful $250 million... er, $ billions in the region.

Disrupt IT