BREATHTAKING: Constructed Landscapes at Harbourfront Centre

This exhibition at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto asks how can architecture create an awe-inspiring experience through the placement of built form within the landscape?

Architecture is traditionally understood to be the art of building; physical constructions which exist in the landscape; but it can and should be more than that. Viewing architecture as separate from setting seems to diminish the unity between structure and site. Architecture inevitably plays a role in our experience of nature. It should frame our view and assert the possibilities of the experience.

Is successful architecture in nature dramatic or subdued? Architecture can emphasize its on-site presence. It can be a beacon or it can withdraw into the wilderness and be a blind swathed by its surroundings. We will always seek out nature, and architecture performs a crucial function in how this experience is made real. Whether a simple bench in a clearing, or an elaborate lookout tower, architecture is the bridge to our response to nature.

Breathtaking: Constructed Landscapes considers the use of architecture to define and direct how we view and understand nature and landscape. The intent is to appraise the role of architecture in our experience of the natural world and its place within nature.

Featuring the work of Baird Sampson Neuert Architects, Idea Tank Design Collective, PLANT Architect Inc. along with a visual arts installation by Vid Ingelevics, this exhibition goes further than merely exploring the captivating scenery; it proposes a redirected premise that places the emphasis on a perception of architecture which transcends the built form and looks beyond the view.

The exhibition runs until December 23, 2012.

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