King Street Staircase / toronto 2010

King Street Staircase

"There are some stairs in the city - like those in front of The Metropolitan Museum of Art - that are arguably more important urban events than the buildings to which they lead." -- Paul Goldberger, New Yorker architecture critic

Monumental staircases in Paris (Sacre Coeur), New York (the Met) and Vancouver (Vancouver Art Gallery) provide a place to meet, sun-bathe, read and play guitar. Toronto’s Entertainment District is in desperate need of spaces for 50,000 workers, 10,000 residents and countless visitors. The area needs somewhere to sit and eat a take-away burrito, put down shopping bags, and meet before a performance or a game. The corner of King and John provides the perfect location and size for a monumental staircase.

Our winning competition entry for the John Street Square Competition proposed building a staircase with no building. The King Street Staircase is a piece of urban sculpture and a landmark. Since the stair will be a destination in itself, then its shape can take cues from the surrounding buildings and pedestrian movement. Its forms can be designed to support the area’s activities: bleachers during the marathon or a Walk of Fame commemoration; a viewing platform for celebrity sightings or events during The Toronto International Film Festival.

PUBLIC SPACES, design competition