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2005 10 01
110 Spadina

While attending a client party at Big Idea advertising Thursday night I took a moment to appreciate the view from the 7th floor of 110 Spadina. As many in the design community already know this building acts as an informal incubator for small, creative based businesses.

imageKohn Shnier Architects shares the same view although from a few floors up. Well known for their Toronto New-Modernist Style, Kohn and Shnier also recently designed a noteworthy modular cottage for Royalhomes. Brian Boigon, one of Toronto's most innovative and prolific cultural impresarios now working in New York, had the office of thinkthinkthink Inc. here. The list is a long one.

What is it about this building that makes it a favourite for the creative community? Certainly the location is important. It is easy to get to by public transit. There are cultural amenities in the neighbourhood including the AGO, Queen Street West, and Swipe Books. But those are not the only reasons this building is a success. And it is definitely not the speedy elevators. The main lobby sports only one that they should consider selling tickets on because a round trip top to bottom takes a good part of a lunch break. No, the building works because it was designed as a factory - a place of work that could be reconfigured as needed to accommodate the various changing processes of an exuberant industrial economy. The windows are big. You can open them. The ceilings are tall. The floors are made from old growth forest timber that - given the right humidity and temperature - can still, after all these years, ooze the sweet, volatile smell of fresh cut wood.

This building works for those reasons but, most importantly, it works as a container for creativity because it is a tabula rasa. It emanates a atmosphere of expectancy. Things can happen here. Ideas can take shape. People can push them forward. The empty spaces can be filled.

[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 10/01 at 01:19 PM

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