Maybe celebrity architects are trying to tell us something when they come to our city and refurbish us with zany pole-vaulted matchboxes or a giant steel “O” looming over Harbord Street. TOist has always felt such examples of architectural swagger bring more good than harm despite being aesthetically distasteful, especially in the case of Thom Mayne’s U of T Graduate House.
Built in 2000, it was adored by critics for its boldness (Lisa Rochon, the Globe’s architecture critic, called it an “architectural gangster”) and efficiently brought U of T out of its conservative-Victorian stronghold architecturally. As if to revive a stale debate between aghast citizens and smug architects, Mayne has recently been awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize for Graduate House.
The smartest critique against Bruce Mau TOist has read so far, which successfully identifies Bruce’s primary threat: a polemicist preaching the gospel of global capitalism. Hate it or love it.