Normally, the launch of yet another condo on Yonge St. would pass unnoticed, except by the neighbours.
But it will be hard not to notice the project proposed for Yonge St. and Strathgowan Ave. To begin with, it’s designed by Will Alsop, the British architect best known in these parts for the “flying tabletop,” officially the Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art & Design University.
That’s the McCaul St. building suspended on a series of brightly coloured steel columns. No one who has seen it will be surprised to hear the condo is, well, somewhat out of the ordinary. That would be true in any part of town, but in leafy North Toronto, Alsop’s offering will not only turn heads, it will wrench necks.
But for most, what we see is what we get. The Strathgowan condo will be midrise — 10 storeys — but beyond that, it’s hard to describe. For starters, the building is wrapped in a steel screen, patterned, pierced and perforated to resemble a lacy architectural façade. Vaguely reminiscent of Jean Nouvel’s exquisite Arab World Institute in Paris, Alsop’s condo also has the feel of one of those French Quarter buildings in New Orleans with the ornate wrought iron balconies.