subscribe
free e-newsletter free e-newsletter
product info
advertise
FAQ
SUBSCRIBE TODAY
for premium web access
comment

Lights, Camera... Alsop!

August 13, 2007

by Alex Bozikovic

The British architect Will Alsop doesn’t do quiet buildings, so it’s fitting that his latest North American project will be an icon for an equally bold development project: a plan to build one of the largest film studios on the continent in Toronto.

Alsop's Filmport complex

Alsop's Filmport complex

Images Courtesy ALSOP/Quadrangle

A view of the main entry at Will Alsop’s Filmport tower in Toronto (top). The rear elevation of Alsop’s Filmport tower features a curving facade screen (above).
Rate this project:
Based on what you have seen and read about this project, how would you grade it? Use the stars below to indicate your assessment, five stars being the highest rating.
----- Advertising -----

Unveiled last week, Alsop’s design calls for a cantilevered 280,000-square-foot building that will function as a gateway to the new Filmport complex, now being constructed in the city’s port area. The tower, like much of Alsop’s work, employs a bold vocabulary of forms and materials: it is a giant arc, its inner face wrapped with a glass curtain wall and the outer face with Cor-Ten steel punctuated by a series of bulbous window openings. The building “curves as it rises,” explains Alsop, who won the Stirling Prize, the highest award in British architecture, in 2000 for London’s dramatically cantilevered Peckham Library. “It bends over and gives cover to what will be a very lively, public square.”

The Filmport tower will house offices, production facilities, and retail space; a three-story glass bubble, tucked under the main curve, will serve as an atrium and restaurant. It’s likely to be the first major project completed in a broad redevelopment of Toronto’s industrial port land. The entire site, designed by Toronto’s Quadrangle Architects, is being billed as the largest studio in North America outside of California. Plans include 550,000 square feet of production space, including a one-acre soundstage designed to lure the biggest Hollywood movies to the city’s already booming film industry.

Alsop says that creating public space in the emerging neighborhood is an explicit goal of his building—and so is attracting tourists to the area. His atelier is a natural choice in that regard: it is well known in Canada for the Sharp Centre at the Ontario College of Art and Design, whose box-on-stilts form has made it one of the city’s most recognizable buildings since it was completed in 2004. Alsop says that, according to Toronto’s mayor, the Sharp Centre has increased tourism to the city by 2.3 percent. “Though I don’t know how they calculate those numbers, I’m happy to take credit,” he adds.

 Reader Comments:

Sign in to Comment

To write a comment about this story, please sign in. If this is your first time commenting on this site, you will be required to fill out a brief registration form. Your public username will be the beginning of the email address that you enter into the form (everything before the @ symbol). Other than that, none of the information that you enter will be publically displayed.

We welcome comments from all points of view. Off-topic or abusive comments, however, will be removed at the editors’ discretion.

----- Advertising -----
----- Advertising -----
Sweets, Search Building Products
Search
Reader Feedback
Most Commented Most Recommended
Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days
Rankings reflect comments made in the past 14 days