Art will blend with architecture in the six new subway stations now taking shape along the TTC's Spadina Extension subway line, set to open in the fall of 2016.
In this series, CBC looks at each of the six stations in more detail.
Architects: AHR (formerly Aedas), London, with AECOM, Toronto
Artist: David Pearl, Toronto
The “mixing bowl” is a multi-storey space at 407 Station that will gather in passengers from three lines of transportation converging at this hub — the TTC, YRT and GO.
The glass of its oval skylight is painted with a 100-ft.-long broad liquid-colour brushstroke by artist David Pearl. A coloured glass wall façade and glass panels on all station escalators are the other components of his work.
The skylight’s brushstroke, suggestive of the gesture of a hand, will tint the light that reaches this station’s platforms.
Art that never changes risks becoming invisible with familiarity, so Pearl strove to create a dynamic work, one that would change with the angle of the sun and weather conditions.
Up to 80 per cent of riders will use a subway station every single day. Depending on the time of year, 7 a.m. could be anything from pitch black to brightly sunlit. “It’s interesting to play with that actual dynamic of light coming into the building so that the artwork is changing the nature of the architectural experience,” said Pearl.
Pearl says the cost of adding art to any building or infrastructure project to create beauty in our environment is so small, that he is surprised whenever the issue is raised. “Why don’t people question how expensive it is to put up traffic lights, because it costs a fortune,” he said.
Pearl says Toronto is a beautiful city that is constantly trying to tell itself it can’t continue to be that way, but of course it can.
Read about the rest of the Spadina Extension subway line:
- Downsview Park Station
- Finch West Station
- York University Station
- Pioneer Village Station
- 407 Station
- Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Station
Michelle Adelman is a fellow in global journalism at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.