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Absolute Towers by MAD Architects for Canadian Architect Magazine

Absolute Towers by MAD Architects for Canadian Architect Magazine

Abstract detail of MAD architects Marilyn Monroe Mississauga Absolute Towers at midday

When we were approached by Canadian Architect Magazine for a small commission to capture Mississauga’s Absolute Towers, we jumped at the opportunity. These incredible towers were very high on our lists of must-shoot buildings. So, the opportunity to get exclusive and unfettered access was not to be missed.

What is unmistakably clear is how these two gems stand out in the Mississauga landscape. To say that they stand out is a gross understatement. The reason is very simple and stems from the very basis of the architect’s design. “Lots of cities like this are happening in China, just repeating the modern urban typology and always making square towers,” says Ma Yansong, the lead architect of Chinese firm MAD, “We were thinking; how about reversing that? “So we don’t treat architecture as a product, or an artificial volume or space. It’s more like a landscape.”

MAD architects Marilyn Monroe Mississauga Absolute Towers in midday and early morning

Downtown toronto from the 58th floor of MAD architects Marilyn Monroe Mississauga Absolute Towers

MAD won a competition launched by developer Sam Crignano of Cityzen in 2006 to the design the final Absolute Tower. They saw this as “an opportunity to respond to […] create a residential landmark that strives for more than simple efficiency and that provides residents an emotional connection to their hometown.  This building is more than just a functional machine: it responds to the significance of being located at the junction of two main streets, elegantly bearing its landmark status and acting as a gateway to the city beyond.

It is something beautiful, sculptural and human. Despite its landmark status, the emphasis is not solely on height. Our design features a continuous balcony that surrounds the whole building, eliminating the vertical barriers traditionally used in high rise architecture. The entire building rotates by different degrees at different levels, corresponding with the surrounding scenery. Our aim is to provide 360 degree views for each residential unit, and to get city dwellers in touch with the natural elements and reawaken their appreciation of nature.”

The Marilyn Monroe towers, as they are known to the locals, have certainly met the architect’s design goals are sure to leave a lasting impression on everyone. If you’re ever in the Toronto area, you simply must take a detour to nearby Mississauga to witness them in person.

Sam Crignano of Cityzen Developments inside the lounge at MAD architects Marilyn Monroe Mississauga Absolute Towers

View from below: MAD architects Marilyn Monroe Mississauga Absolute Towers at sunset

MAD architects Marilyn Monroe Mississauga Absolute Towers at dusk

You can see more and larger images by following this link

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