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Frank Gehry unveils new visuals of his tallest-ever residential skyscrapers

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Canadian architect Frank Gehry has revealed additional visuals of his Forma skyscrapers, which are set to be built in Toronto, Canada, and feature interiors by Paolo Ferrari.The Forma project will comprise two towers, a 298-metre-tall western and a 262-metre-tall eastern tower, which will be the tallest residential towers ever designed by Gehry.

Forma Toronto viewed from the ground
The two towers of Forma are the tallest residential structures ever made by Frank Gehry

The tallest of the two towers will be just short of the threshold for supertall skyscrapers, which is 300 metres.

Both towers will hold luxury condominiums, as well as an extension campus for the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD). The development will be sited on King Street West in Downtown Toronto.

Entrance to the lobby of the east form Tower
Forma is sited in Toronto’s Entertainment District

This latest iteration of this project, which has been almost a decade in the making, has two towers with offset blocks that stack on either side of voids. The voids make each tower appear to have multiple distinct parts.

Each tower has two material schemes, creating a juxtaposition that characterises the towers.

Smooth, reflective glass surfaces will be paired with a stainless steel cladding with sculptural folds that makes the facade appear to be rippling.

Forma lobby with sculpture
The east tower’s lobby is inspired by the Group of Seven

Between the blocks are strips of glazing to accentuate the disjointed visual effect of the towers.

Throughout the various designs for the development, Gehry has been insistent that the towers should represent what is unique about Toronto.

“Every city in the world has its own light and the light is modified by the buildings in the city,” said Gehry of the recent iteration of the design. “I wanted this building to capture the essence of Toronto.”

Forma interior Grand Suite
Paolo Ferrari designed some of the interiors, like the Grand Suite

“[Toronto] is not like everywhere else. The light is different. The heritage is different,” he continued. “It’s a different place. I hope that is what people see when they look up.”

Gehry also released images of the east tower’s lobby, which he designed based on influences from the Group of Seven, a collection of well-known Canadian visual artists.

The lobby has limestone walls with Scandinavian-inflected furniture. The ceiling will be decorated with an installation designed by Gehry’s team that features a metallic “shimmering motif of maple leaves.”

The Grand Suite movie room Forma
The Grand Suite has plush finishes

The new images, produced by architecture visualisation studio The Boundary, also give first looks at some of the towers’ other interior spaces, which were designed by local architect Paolo Ferrari.

Ferrari has designed several amenities spaces, including the wood-panelled Creators’ Club, which has a structural ceiling with inset lighting.

His design for the Grand Suite features a light-coloured living room with double-height ceilings and rough stone accents.

The original design of the towers, announced in 2012, saw three towers, all with slightly different forms. In 2013, these were updated to include ribbon-like envelopes that wrapped and connected the bases of the towers.

After outrage from locals and city officials at the teardown of a theatre that the design called for, Gehry scaled back the design to two towers in 2014.

Creators Club Forma
The Creators’ Club will have wooden slats and a sculptural ceiling

In 2017, the original developer, art collector David Mirvish, sold the project to Great Gulf, a developer that said it would see the project through in league with Westdale Properties and Dream Unlimited.

The developers told Dezeen they expect the project to be complete by 2028.

Frank Gehry is a Pritzker Prize-winning architect who heads Gehry Partners. He was born and raised in Toronto, but his practice is based in Los Angeles.

Recently completed projects include a housing complex that frames the Battersea Power Station in London. Gehry also released images for the new Colburn Center, an extension of a performing arts school, in Los Angeles.

The images are by The Boundary.