Arts

Under the sea: How this architect turned Toronto's city hall into the ocean

Toronto-based architect Philip Beesley and his team give us a behind-the-scenes look at their meticulous process.

Philip Beesley knows how to take architecture to the next level

For Toronto-based architect Philip Beesley, architecture has the capacity to be a living and moving entity that can sense a human's needs and emotions, and even react to them. 2:03

For Toronto-based architect Philip Beesley, architecture has the capacity to be a living and moving entity that can sense a human's needs and emotions — and even react to them. To this end, Beesley and his team of collaborators (which includes artists, scientists and engineers) work with technology and the most fragile of materials to design and create everything from large-scale immersive installations to responsive fabrics for haute couture fashion.

This October, Beesley brought his boundless imagination and skills to Nuit Blanche Toronto — the city's all-night exhibition of contemporary art — where he transformed its city hall rotunda into an immersive dark ocean of recycled textiles and floating LED lights.

In this video, Beesley gives CBC Arts an inside look at his process as he puts the finishing touches on his large-scale installation Ocean.

Watch Exhibitionists Sunday at 4:30pm (5pm NT) on CBC TV.

About the Author

Mercedes Grundy has been producing videos for CBC Arts and Exhibitionists since 2015. She is a unabashed Leonardo DiCaprio enthusiast with an educational background in photography, and produces film and theatre when not busy here at the CBC. And while her love for the arts does not discriminate, she openly acknowledges she is a horrible dancer.

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