Absolute Mississauga

Mississauga unveiled the winner of its landmark development Absolute near the city’s civic centre and Square One shopping mall. The jury picked the building I thought was the best designed, but I’ll admit to paying only passing attention to this competition. Robert Oullette of Reading Toronto has some decent comments on the winner:

Architect Yansong Ma of China declared that high-rise buildings have a close connection with technology and culture. I’m with him there. He also said that high-rises are landmarks of culture. Sure.

However, when he says that social relations have more complexity and [therefore] we need more complexity in this building, he steps over into a fantasy realm shared by a certain type of designer who thinks the surface style of his or her building has some kind of mystical effect on the lives of the people who inhabit it. Architecture can have a profound impact on the lives of people. But it is not the specific style of one high-rise that is at the core of that impact. The impact of, say, choices in density and the number and types of elevators serving a tall building have far more influence on the day to day social lives of a building’s inhabitants that does the “Marilyn Monroe” like curves of its profile. Let’s acknowledge this building for what it is: a beautiful form — maybe even an interesting engineering challenge – but really a marketing tool to attract people to a suburban landscape typically all too devoid of real architectural choices.

Christopher Hume also ruminates on the winner in today’s Toronto Star:

Even Mississauga’s long-serving mayor, Hazel McCallion, declared herself thrilled with the decision. “We started 40 years ago in a hayfield,” said the veteran politician, whose proudest claim is that her city remains debt free. “This is a dream come true.”

In fact, it’s a dream few Mississauga residents would have bothered with until now. Despite McCallion’s boast, hers is a city desperately in need of an identity that goes beyond its lack of debt. You get what you pay for, of course, and in Mississauga that’s been precious little. But that’s old news. What’s interesting this time is that the private sector has moved in to fill the void left by officialdom. What McCallion and her council have failed to provide — namely a place where there’s a there there — will now be addressed by a development consortium.

16 comments

  1. where can i get registration info on this condo

  2. This is one of the most beautifal designs that I have ever seen. Please make sure that it is built. The building alone will attract tourism, and tourist of all walks of life at that. A must for Mississauga! We deserve it.

  3. I love this building and I will probably live in it, but all the articles I’ve read so far about this award winning building give no recognition to the first twisted building designed by Santiago Calatrava from Spain. The “Turning Torso” was definitly the original concept for this building. I think that people should know where the influences are really coming from.

  4. The “Turning Torso” was built in Sweden, for all you people that don’t know anything about architecture.

  5. For all you people who don’t know anything about geography, Sweden is in Europe, which is on planet Earth.

  6. Put me down for another vote of eyesore. This thing is gonna be butt ugly and dominate the landscape…

  7. Where can i buy one of these condo’s? How much is the cost. And this buliding is HOT

  8. All you people talking about, “this ain’t cool, this design is ugly” wake up and get with the architecture of the times. If you don’t like a new hot and hip Mississauga, move! Great building hope to see it in 2009.

  9. Hi there

    I am a Marilyn Monroe impersonator and read this story in the Star a few months ago. I have to say I would love to live in this gorgeous condo. I think it’s stunning and Marilyn would be proud and honoured. I think it’s gorgeous and will sell out fast. I just hope I know someone that will move in there!!

  10. I am a true beleiver in high density living (esp. if the alternative is urban sprawl and McMansions). This is a gorgeous design, but it seems out of place among the hum-drum that is Mississauga – there need to me more marvelous designs to give this one a proper environment. Let’s see if Mississauga can remain debt free whille improving their cityscape.

  11. For all of you who think it’s an eyesore…keep your eyes shut! Finally a building with a little more than four corners and a pointed peak. Bravo, it’s a wonderful change from the eyesores that already exist!

  12. I bought the condo adjacent to the Marilyn and I’m a bit concerned. Will this beautiful tower increase or decrease the value of my four cornered building?

  13. I’d like to see what the scaffolding looks like to do the exterior work in the future?

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