One advantage of producing the LAB Report each month is that we can't help but come across remarkable works that cry out to be more widely known. One such work is a series of competition-winning designs that the team of West 8 and DTAH made for the revitalization of Toronto's Lake Ontario waterfront. The entire project, the first stages of which opened this past summer, will span almost 4 km. They are at once promenades, waterfront access, and informal amphitheaters. Clearly, they are a delight to children and downtown office workers and we imagine the same is true for skateboarders. Still to come are additional footbridges, a continuous boardwalk, and a pedestrian friendly boulevard, further strengthening Toronto’s ties to the lake.
The stated idea was to abstract in wood the movement of the lake as it laps onto the shore. One of the great things about highly expressive work like this is that it illustrates how critical it is to have a strong, simple idea, and then to apply it consistently. Repetition of the concept is just as important as the clarity of the concept. The WaveDecks show that clarity and consistency, in the right hands, can be noble and civic, playful and beautiful.
And hats off to the City of Toronto for having commissioned this work and for having enabled the beautifully crafted construction of this wonderful place.