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2005 04 04
Architecture and Utopia - Part 6
imageThat is not all, however. For the unignorable irony is that some of the city's best architecture is part of this very same university that refused to allow the gamespace of the new stadium. Our campus has become a kind of incubator of dreams, a sabbatical space, the way Rem Koolhaas argues Coney Island functions for Manhattan. We have taken risks and scored: Massey College, Graduate House, the Isabel Bader Theatre. And,above all, that indefinable harmony of styles and periods that is impossible to plan or dictate; that must grow, over time.

The university is a strange achievement, a space coherent unto itself, but not closed or opaque. It does not turn its back on the city, the way Yale or Columbia do, or find its identity only via suburban isolation, like York or Calgary or Trent or any number of other places you could mention. Instead, like McGill arranged along Sherbrooke, or NYU scattered around the casual drug deals, dog runs, buskers and grungy chess geniuses of Washington Square, the university allows the city to permeate it, to flow into and through our separateness. Down the sweep of Queen's Park, along Hoskin and College, through the jay-walkers on the thin strip of St.George.

Come on in.
[email this story] Posted by Mark Kingwell on 04/04 at 08:28 AM

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