Saturday, February 02, 2008

Urban Design and Brick Works

The Don Valley Brick Works has been a fairly quiet place for the past ten years but in the next year it will become a hive of activity. Evergreen, a prominent urban environment NGO has developed a plan to restore the Brick Works as part headquarters, part eco-centre. This ambitious plan has attracted top architects and designers to transform the derelict industrial buildings into a new urban place that may be a hallmark for the Don Valley (it could also turn out to be a white elephant but I'm not going to make any predictions).

The design firm that ended up with the prize was Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes Inc. This firm has been in the news recently as the winners of a design contest for the Jarvis Street pier on Toronto's Harbour. The firm has an interesting tableau of pictures and conceptual drawings for the Brick Works site.

4 comments:

skifit said...

I am somewhat surprised by the very positive reaction to the Brick Works plan. Sure the environmental features are nice, but when it comes down to it it's another high-end shopping mall that is almost impossible to access without an automobile. I wonder if all the good environmental features of the site will offset the increased number of automobile trips generated by it.

Anonymous said...

There are plans to create a better and safer link between the Brickworks site and the Don Valley trail system. One hopes this moves ahead soon as it is a rather isolated site not very easy to reach if you do not have a car.

skifit said...

Yes, but the Don Valley Trail System itself is designed for recreation not for transportation. It won't make it much easier to get there. I'm a brave cyclist, who bikes on Bayview itself. It would be nice if a brave government official put a bike lane there.

Donwatcher said...

There is a plan on the books to build a path on between the river and Bayview that would extend from Pottery road and link up with the path fragment near the Bayview/Bloor on-ramp. This would allow better access to the Brick Works since a traffic light is slated to be installed at the Brick Works entrance before Evergreen's official opening.