It's retardataire because it reminds one of the Prudential Building that went up way back in ... 1955? Really I think you're just being grumpy. Together with The Shell Building, this is the fine city hall complex that Marani and Morris never got to build. Tear off the pomo addition, spruce up the awful lobby, and please save it!
Personally, I would be a bit reluctant to compare 481 University to said list of examples, just by the way of "quality".
I've always considered the buildings on University Avenue far too small for the scale of that street, so it's a promising development. More residential and office will do wonders for foot traffic and the feel of this boulevard. This is one street where you could put 400 m buildings and they wouldn't over power the street. I'll settle for 200m+ buildings though.
Hopefully this new proposal at 481 University won't be glass. One of the great things about this street is the 60s-70s architecture and use of heavy materials. It would be sad if that were lost in the name of looking current.
Actually, qualitywise, I don't find it to be *that* much the inferior to said list; I might even opt for it over some of that list. There's something about its scale and stance that seems supremely fitting for a major intersection on a "monumental" avenue--sure, there may be a touch of clunkiness to the massing; but in the end, the only thing really going against it is that it's astonishingly rearguard for something from the beginning of the JFK presidency. That is, the MaraniMorrissian nadir and end game for Toronto The Stodgy to those besotted by whatever Viljo Revell hath wrought. (Long before the term emerged as a byword for jerrybuilt towers-in-the-park, I suppose it's stuff like this that would have been popularly deemed "commie blocks", i.e. straight out of a tinpot Stalinist dictatorship.)
Then came the 1980s, and stuff like this was "appreciated" once again. (Which may explain why, at least IMO, even the unapologetically PoMo entrance isn't as obnoxiously uncomplimentary as some.) Though my sleeper favourite element is the office penthouse, which is like a Mussolini-era Italian Rationalist vila plopped atop an urban rooftop...
- I think they should have a guideline that specifies the material palatte/design language for new developments along University Ave.
I would hate to see this demolished, or even re-skinned. Remove the terrible POMO addition and replace the windows (in-kind) but please don't ruin the overall aesthetic. The materials and massing of this building are what defines University Ave, at least in my eyes. It's almost monumental in a not-very-large sort of way.
I actually like the whole block, even though the street level presence is quite deadening. Hope the treatment here is respectful no matter which properties are involved.
... might actually have improved the building it belonged to (i.e. by relieving the stodge of the green-marble frontispiece, which was a little too tight-sphinctered back when it was continuous).
The "deadening" street presence comes naturally, In effect, aside from the present University block, it used to be a factory, you know.