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A King West Plaza Plants a Metallic Forest

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The Theatre District draws open the curtains on a dramatic new production

A large-scale sculpture installed in front of King Street West’s Theatre Park Condos sets the stage for the development’s welcoming urban plaza. Inspired by burning trees, Finnish sculptor Jaakko Pernu’s “Runaway Forest” uses geometric forms to reflect the beautiful but chaotic nature of downtown. Eight metal poles – or “tree trunks” – stand in a pool of water, enclosed inside of frames composed of dozens of criss-crossing aluminum ribbons. These twig-like strips echo the diagonal slashes that adorn the facade of the 47-storey architectsAlliance-designed condo tower nearby.

When viewed dead-on, the tree sculptures appear to be one seamless structure – with the lines from one flowing into those from another. In fact, each tree was created individually by fabrication studio Eventscape. Small 2.5-centimetre gaps were left between them during installation to allow for wind movement.

For more behind-the-scenes insight into the project, watch this video documenting the impressive piece’s manufacturing process.

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Get a closer look at what you can expect to find in the 2024 New Builds Issue of Designlines Magazine

In the 2024 Spring/Summer Issue of Designlines, we focus on New Builds and “celebrate the profound impact of creating something new, not just as an architectural endeavour but as a testament to laying down roots and shaping the very essence of our city’s identity,” editor-in-chief Joseph Cicerone writes.

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