Frank Gehry was born Frank Owen Goldberg on February 28, 1929, in Toronto, Canada. The Goldberg family was Polish and Jewish. Frank was creative at a young age, building imaginary homes and cities from items found in his grandfather’s hardware store. This interest in unconventional building materials would come to characterize Gehry’s architectural work.
Now he’s planning for a new project that is about a cluster of three towers in old Toronto, Planned for King Street West at the center of Toronto’s entertainment district, the proposed gallery and university complex includes the construction of three 82-86 story, atop an expansive art gallery and a learning center for OCAD University’s art history and curatorial courses.
Moving on from the initial design revealed in October 2012, Frank Gehry envisages the three residential towers with layers of ribbon-like cladding, creating curving surfaces and asymmetrical shapes. Despite objections from the city’s planning department, the proposed heights remain unchanged.
The planned demolition of three warehouses and a small theatre to make way for the new buildings also prompted concerns from city officials. In response, Gehry has added a structure of vertical, horizontal, and diagonal wooden beams to the base buildings as a reference to the area’s industrial past.
“Toronto has grown to look like every other screwed-up city,” Gehry told the Toronto Star. “We’re searching for that way of expressing old Toronto without copying what they did.”
He continued: “It’s not hard to do a skyscraper; but how do you do one that has some Toronto DNA in it? I lived not far from the site. I remember the warehouses. It was the industrial section where the factories were. But we need to bring a new kind of life down there.”
The project is currently set for completion in 2023.