The Globe and Mail

Thinking BIG: Danish architects have a radical vision to build a distinct condo community in Toronto

“If everyone is different, then why do so many buildings look the same?” asks Danish architect Bjarke Ingels. “That’s something we’ve been thinking about for a few years now.” It’s an excellent question – and as our cities absorb new development in the form of apartment buildings, how can those buildings create a sense of community?

Mr. Ingels and his firm, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), have been exploring that question in a string of innovative buildings over the past decade – and now that effort is coming to downtown Toronto, in the form of a particularly radical building. After 2½ years of negotiations, the condo project Westbank King Street has been approved and is about to start sales. It’s being heralded by “Unzipped Toronto,” an exhibition in a BIG-designed pavilion that opens this week.

The new condo will be hard to miss. It could be the strangest residential building ever constructed in Canada. Certainly, it will set an interesting example for new housing. While new condos and apartments are often faulted for being soulless, this promises to be a carefully detailed building, a distinctive place, and a village that contributes to the larger city.

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