A number of months ago Banksy did a series of pieces throughout the streets of New York poking fun at society and playing a number of silly (funny) pranks.
One of his final items was to write a scathing architectural review of the new World Trade Center. Essentially, he called out the city of New York for losing it’s nerve when, in his opinion, the building should have been a symbol of “spirit and audacity”.
The funniest bit in the op-ed was where he opined the building looked like something they would build in Canada. It took a few moments before one could find it funny, the initial response being the intended offense. A few years ago, however, Banksy spent a bit of time in our city releasing a documentary and spray bombing to the people’s great joy. During that time he most certainly looked up and saw a whole host of the most banal, boring architecture one could expect to experience. I imagine this was the reference point behind the shot at Canada. I think it was a fair shot.
This, of course, is old news. The only real reason to bring it up now is that the City of Toronto has the opportunity to do something truly great architecturally. As Mr. Mirvish and Frank Gehry push to unleash large scale, big A architecture on Toronto, it’s discouraging to see battle lines being drawn and the overall timbre of the teeth-gnashers on either side.
I don’t have the knowledge or authority to give too much opinion on the matter (though I plan to anyway), it’s just nice that the City has a couple of voices that do. Reading opinions from the likes of Alex Bozikovic and Adam Vaughan over the past few weeks makes me feel like (or at least hope) we’ll eventually end up with something great.