Thursday, May 20, 2010

Art and Architecture: Rogers Centre and The Audience by Michael Snow

Toronto Downtown Skyline as seen from the Toronto Islands, which lie just to the south of the City and form our natural harbour and tremendous recreational lands.
Toronto's Domed Stadium - The Roger's Centre
Toronto's Stadium lies in the heart of our downtown, tucked in beside the CN Tower.  The Dome of the Stadium and the needle of the CN Tower, surrounded by the usual office towers you might see in any city, define the Toronto Skyline.  I can see it from my east facing bedroom window and I have featured several pictures of that view in my blog.  From the angle I view, the Rogers Centre (formerly called the Sky Dome) is not very visible as it is mostly hidden by condo and office towers, as you can see from my picture below.

Our Sky Dome was built in the late 1980s at a time that dense construction of the downtown area west was just getting underway.  I can remember when the area was just a bunch of railway tracks and industrial buildings, even Liberty Village was not yet anything more than mostly abandoned industrial buildings and the Inglis Appliance Factory.  Now it is a vibrant and ever growing upscale residential and recreational area frequented by people for every day activities and for special events.

About the Rogers Centre from Wiki:

Rogers Centre, formerly known as Sky Dome, is a multi-purpose stadium in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, situated next to the CN Tower near the shores of Lake Ontario. Originally opened in 1989, it is home to the American League's Toronto Blue Jays, the Canadian Football League's Toronto Argonauts, the site of the annual International Bowl American college football bowl game, and as of 2008, the National Football League's Buffalo Bills' second playing venue in the Bills Toronto Series. While it is primarily a sports venue, it also hosts other large-scale events such as conventions, trade fairs, concerts, funfairs, and monster truck shows. The stadium was renamed "Rogers Centre" following the purchase of the stadium by Rogers Communications in 2005. 
The venue was noted for being the first stadium to have a fully-retractable motorized roof, as well as for the 348-room hotel attached to it, with 70 rooms overlooking the field. It is also the most recent North American major-league stadium built to accommodate both football, as well as baseball..

Because the construction around this area is fairly recent, most of it has been built after Toronto instituted its "Percent for Art" program.   From the City of Toronto Web site:  
The Percent for Public Art Program recommends that a minimum of one percent of the gross construction cost of each significant development be contributed to public art. The governing principle for the Percent for Public Art Program is that art is a public benefit to be enjoyed and experienced by residents and visitors throughout the city. The Program requires that the artwork must be clearly visible at all times from publicly accessible areas.
As a consequence, the area developed from the Sky Dome and west is rich with public art and a feast for the walking person to take in.  In the next few dozens of Thursdays I will focus on Art and Architecture in the downtown area near the Sky Dome and the surrounding area running west through to Liberty Village.  Not that I haven't already done dozens of blogs covering art and architecture in the Downtown area but just to let you know there are dozens more to come.  Last week's blog on the Barca Volante (Flying Canoe) at the Navy Wharf building which is right across the road from the Roger's Centre is another example.  Just to let you know that there are lots more to come, I thought a proper introduction was in order to give some context to the coming blogs.

Art and Architecture at the Toronto Roger's Centre  
(AKA The Sky Dome)
Michael Snow - The Audience
I just love this installation, which sits at the two northern corners of the stadium. This is a whimsical sculpture, giant caricatures of the sorts of people you might see at the stadium watching a game.

This shows the location of the piece on the NE structure
The picture above looks east and shows the one part of the installation, which look to be stadium box full of cheering people watching a game.  It is located on the eastern most part the supporting structure upon which the giant roof retracts - you can see the tracks that the roof retracts on in the picture.  You can also see a bit of the Renaissance Hotel which adjoins the stadium.  It would be really neat during a Blue Jays game to be in one of the hotel rooms with windows looking out into the stadium field.

This is a close up of the work installed at the NE corner.
The right most part of the installation is another couple of stadium boxes full of people - they always make smile.  I view this work from my office building which is right beside the Rogers Centre and I can see it from above when I look out the 13th floor south windows. 
This is the NW part of the installation.
This is a close up of the folks looking out of the N-W "Stadium Box" Click for greater detail.

I am going to go out on my lunch break next week and take some photos of the draw bridge between the Stadium and the walk way to Front Street which is one of the access points to the Stadium and right beside my place of work.  There are quite a few interesting pieces of public art installed in and around the CN Tower to also show you. Stay tuned for next week's installment.

This next photo shows the Roger's Stadium as it is seen from our waterfront, lit up at night.  It is a nice sight to see.

1 comment:

  1. It is a novel piece of Architecture and a great feat of Engineering. Too bad our City Planners have no sense of the esthetic, allowing their grab for tax dollars rule our city skyline. Did you noyice the condo put up right in front and centre or the Rogers centre, obstructing the otherwise peaceful silhouette. I can't see the City Planners in Sydney Australia allowing that to happen to their opera house.


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