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This month, World Architecture Day is celebrated around the globe. In Canada, October also marks the debut of the first comprehensive review of Canadian architecture in decades. Co-published by Canadian Architect magazine and Princeton Architectural Press, the book Canadian Modern Architecture, 1967 to the Present, will be released on Monday, October 28. It launches with a series of events in cities across Canada, including several events in Ontario that have been supported by the OAA.
To celebrate the book, the blOAAg will include eight excerpts—chosen by co-editor Elsa Lam—over the month. Today’s selection is about the Nathan Phillips Square, taken from Lam’s chapter, “Toronto Architecture: Form and Reform.”
Perhaps the most iconic effort to revisit Toronto’s modernist legacy started in 2007, when the City launched an international competition to redesign Nathan Phillips Square—the plaza designed by Viljo Revell in front of New City Hall. The winning entry, as constructed by PLANT Architect in joint venture with Perkins+Will, opens up the square by removing the clutter that had accumulated at its center. New pavilions, including an open stage and a café, echo the modernist language of Revell’s 1965 design. The hard edges of the existing block are softened with an accessible green roof on the city hall’s podium, as well as gardens and seating along the plaza’s perimeter.