A Developer Pays for Lots of Art

18 Jun

Are you listening Toronto?

 

Back in March of 2014, I wrote about this weird development that was going up not far from the hospital. Massive buildings were being constructed and it seemed like an alien spaceship had landed just off the main entrance area. (You can see this spaceship in the first picture in the slides above and in the link.)

The development is finally complete. It is called the W-District. The W comes from the first letter of the developer’s name – Woraluk Property Ltd. This project is huge and is composed of two very large condominium towers, a hotel, a shopping and entertainment zone and an art park. You can visit the website of the project here.

What interested me was the art park. The condos and hotel are pretty generically huge and not that interesting, except for the alien spaceship, which turns out to be a restaurant/bar. In Toronto, condo and mixed use developers sometimes throw in a sculpture or two just to placate the city planners. But these guys have gone much further, which I thought was pretty cool. Bangkok has always had a very vibrant art scene and the sculptures in the park have all be done by local artists. There has also been a fair amount of graffiti commissioned, some of which is also pretty nice. Whoever heard of a developer commissioning graffiti as part of a condo/hotel development?  This developer has.  There is a pretty good description of this new area along with significantly better photos than I have taken in this article. (My photos don’t do justice to the area.  Check out the ones in the link.)

Like I said, the building designs are nothing special, but it’s nice to see a private developer spending some money on art. The areas in which the sculptures sit are publicly accessible so you don’t have to buy anything or worry about getting kicked out after hours. The restaurant names and signs also appealed to me.

Public art in a private space. Maybe a developer in Toronto could take a look at the instant popularity of this project. This new district is already gaining a lot of good press as a place to be. That’s got to be good for business.  It’s also good for the city.  Toronto could learn a thing or two from this development.

I could not finish this report without mentioning the project’s Spirit House.  It’s large and nicely designed.  It’s a fitting house for Spirits tasked with protecting the artwork in this new park.

5 thoughts on “A Developer Pays for Lots of Art

    • The little egg rooms are part of a restaurant, I think. I will have to check if I get a chance. As to the rest, at least the developer tried. When you’re in the space it’s actually pretty neat. The art, while not being world class, is at least better than nothing, that’s for sure.

    • There are lots of blank mouldy walls in this city. Graffiti is definitely a step up and it’s good to see that, unlike many cities, there seems to be no law against doing this.

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