I live just outside of the shadow cast by Teeple Architect’s Eatonville Library. It is a wonderful building that displays different architectural expressions depending on which face you’re experiencing it from. As Teeple continues to help design the City of Toronto, I can’t help but wonder if much of their current work didn’t find its genesis in this building. Ten years ago I may have disagreed with their assertion that they’re NOT “The Toronto Style”; if not from their materiality, then certainly from much of their massing. The Eatonville Library, however, encompasses multiple personalities that express massing reminiscent of “Toronto Style” on one facade while moving towards something entirely different.
This movement makes me wonder if Teeple is not the Architect of the Future/Greatest Architect Ever/Architect of Any Other Praise I Could Dream Up. What I mean is that it seems as if many of the truly great Toronto firms were crushing pure awesomeness 10 years ago and have translated that into similar awesomeness on much larger and more important, city-shaping scales. On the other hand, Teeple have managed to break free of past awesome towards a new style of architecture that they seem to be creating largely by themselves (while simultaneously working at this city forming scale). Its possible that I’m mistaken and that I simply don’t know their influences (apart from the references to Thom Mayne/Morphosis in this excellent interview), but the body of work they are creating seems entirely unrivalled in terms of process, intent and forward-thinking design.
As a fan of architecture (probably a fan more than a practitioner) I appreciate design that allows for grand gestures and unabashed outward beauty in addition to elegant detailing and thoughtful process. From all appearances, Teeple is in the process of capturing all of this while concurrently developing an entirely original architectural expression.