Photo of the Sharp Centre for Design in Toronto, Canada

Weekly Gem #152 Hovering, covering, architecture

Published 2/24/2018

Location:  This architectural gem is located just east of Grange Park in Toronto, Canada (see the Clue Me! Map). No room for horizontal expansion? Build vertically. Can't expand vertically without blocking the view? Then, let's pencil in a "table" over an existing building and voilá ... expansion complete and all views retained!

The Sharp Centre for Design needed a bigger campus, but the neighbors were rightly concerned that any new building would block their views of the lovely Grange Park.

The architect, Will Alsop came up with the idea of a 'floating' building, hanging in the air above the existing building and the neighbors' sight lines. He wrapped the building in corrugated metal and painted it white with black "pixels" that add texture while camouflaging the windows and making the two floors seem to blend together.

The red cantilevered structure provides support to the building. It also houses a stairway that connects to the building below.


Here's the hidden gem entry from our Clue Me! map.


Don't look now but somebody is using big pencils as table legs!


The Sharp Centre for Design

Why It's Interesting

The unique pixelated building is supported by pencils. The pencils or "table legs" are steel columns manufactured in Pennsylvania, originally designed for use as oil pipelines.

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