BIG’s pixelated complex of “peaks and valleys” for Toronto gains approval

Architecture firm BIG‘s verdant mixed-use complex, reminiscent of Moshe Safdie’s experimental Habitat 67 housing in Montreal, has been approved for Toronto.

The King West Street development, first revealed in 2016, has gained permission to begin construction in Canada’s largest city.

Its design by Bjarke Ingels‘ firm BIG comprises stacks of cubes, arranged in an undulated form that creates a series of “peaks and valleys”.

The studio looked to Canadian-Israeli architect Moshe Safdie’s seminal Habitat 67 project, which is similarly made up of box-like modular units. Ingels referred to his Toronto building as “Habitat 2.0” in an Instagram post when it was first unveiled.

“With King Street West, we wanted to find an alternative to the tower and podium you see a lot of in Toronto and revisit some of Safdie’s revolutionary ideas,” said Ingels in a recent statement. “But rather than a utopian experiment on an island, have it nested into the heart of the city.”

The 613,543-square-foot (57,000-square-metre) King Street West project is set to be built along its namesake thoroughfare, between Spadina Avenue and Portland Street.

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