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The CCA presents Will Alsop: OCAD, an Urban Manifesto


The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) presents the exhibition Will Alsop: OCAD, an Urban Manifesto, on view from 13 June until 5 October 2008. The exhibition features British architect Will Alsop’s preparatory work for the Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) in Toronto and reveals specifically the role of painting in his design process. The exhibition is organised by Howard Shubert, CCA Curator of Prints and Drawings.

Completed in 2004, OCAD’s Sharp Centre for Design was designed by Alsop Architects in collaboration with the Toronto-based firm Robbie/Young + Wright. The building is renowned for its so-called “tabletop” design, elevated nine stories above ground level and balanced on brightly painted steel legs. Its colourful exterior and surprising floating form lend it a vibrant intensity that stands in stark contrast to the surrounding environment. Since completion, Alsop’s OCAD has become not only a popular icon but a catalyst inspiring the transformation and revitalisation of Toronto’s urban spaces.

Presented in the CCA’s Octagonal Gallery, Will Alsop: OCAD, an Urban Manifesto presents the evolution of Alsop’s design for the building and reveals the nature of his collaboration and consultation with local communities as well as the construction process.

Featuring more than 50 objects, the exhibition includes a group of five paintings donated to the CCA by the architect, as well as preparatory drawings, early conceptual models, archival documents, and presentation material. Also on view are one of the exterior panels of the building, a photograph by Geoffrey James, and four films describing early design phases and documenting the construction process. Works are drawn from the CCA Collection with loans from the collections of Will Alsop and the Ontario College of Art & Design.


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