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Friday, September 27, 2013

Marilyn in Mississauga

IMG 1558
Curve appeal is not something usually attributed to high-rise buildings. 

But the 56-story Absolute Tower in Mississauga, Ontario has sky-high curves. It's called "Marilyn,"  a reference to the hourglass figure of the late actress Marilyn Monroe, and also has international admirers. The tower twists 209 degrees from the base to the top and is thinner in the middle as it rises.

Its design was the result of an international design competition for the building of a fourth tower for Absolute World, a residential condo complex in this Toronto suburb of 735,000 residents. It was the first time in 40 years that an international design competition was held by a private development group for building a tower greater than 50 stories and the tallest building in Mississauga when completed. Over 600 registrants and 92 submissions from architects in 70 countries participated. 

The public and judging panel voted for the six finalist designs. In March 2007, the selected winning design was from Yansong Ma, founder of the MAD Architectural Design Studio, a Beijing/China architectural design firm; Ma had never heard of Mississauga when he found the design competition online. 

The unpredictable bulges of the skyscraper, make it look different from every angle. Most skyscrapers are built on straight lines as they’re more efficient to build that way. The five-tower Absolute World project cost $450 million Canadian dollars; more than half went in constructing the two curvy towers. The second north high-rise spirals asymmetrically, not enough to steal the spotlight from “Marilyn" and gets larger in the middle; locally it's called "Joe," a reference to Marilyn Monroe's husband, baseball great Joe DiMaggio.
Marilyn collage1
The towers overlook the Square One Shopping Center, one of the largest shopping malls in the Toronto region. In the 428-unit “Marilyn”  and 433-unit "Joe," every floor is different with a wrap-around balcony. Support walls had to be widened and narrowed, and columns lengthened and shortened, to hold up each successive floor. Builders and engineers had to design an internal construction hoist, since curving walls wouldn’t allow an affordable external one. 
Towers square one
Not only are the curvy Mississauga twins associated with Hollywood’s famous blonde, but are among the world’s best new skyscrapers. They recently were awarded the prize of Best Tall Buildings in the Americas by the Chicago-based Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat.
Marilyn side views

10 comments:

grammie g said...

HI B.... Oh my goodness I think I am dizzy : )
What an amazing sight,and story!!

Grace

Montanagirl said...

They are truly amazing!

Tammy@Simple Southern Happiness said...

not some place I would want to live... imagine if the elevator did not work, one would have to climb all those stairs.

Sandra said...

never seen anything like this, would love to aim my camera at it.. they are amazing.

thecottagebythecranelaketwo said...

I think those two buildings are amongst the most ugly things I've ever seen :-) I thought the Turning Torso placed in southern sweden was the most ugly one but I see I was wrong :-) :-) :-)

Have a great day!
Christer.

Daisy said...

Wow, these are truly unique. It must have been neat to see them.

Debbie said...

hehe...lot's of "curve" appeal!! they are wonderful and unique but i still prefer the old guys ;)

Ginnie said...

Thanks for all the interesting background info but it amazes me that they are considered attractive. I agree with Christer and think they are just plain UGLY.

Emma Springfield said...

Oh my! I am feeling ill just looking at them and imagining that I am inside. I feel like I am falling. They are beautiful buildings but I could never stay in them. The upper floors have too much window and I would worry that the lower floors would be crushed when the building falls.

Anvilcloud said...

Great research and reporting as usual. When we moved there in 1962, it was very rural.

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