Curvy Tower, a New Look for Ontario Town

A twisting and undulating tower designed by Beijing-based MAD Architectural Design Studio has won a competition for a 50-story condominium in Mississauga, Ontario, a fairly nondescript town on Toronto's western flank, whose population is about 700,000. A nine-member panel of architects, urban planners and urban design experts, as well as 6,000 ballot-casting residents, chose the winning design.

The still-unnamed $114 million concrete-and-glass condo promises to be one of Canada's most adventurous-looking buildings. This is ironic for a city whose main architectural credits are its aging civic and performing arts centers, central library and the Pearson International Airport. Mississauga was a low-rise bedroom community for Toronto, but recently began sprouting office towers, businesses, industrial parks and high-rise condos.

Toronto-based developers Fernbrook Homes and Cityzen Development Group say construction will be under way within six months. They have hired Burka Varacalli Architects, a Toronto firm, as MAD's local partner. The Canadian firm has already has three condos under construction in Mississauga's city center.

The developers say that when the high-rise is completed in 2010 the it will be the flagship for their five-tower "Absolute Community." It is the first project for MAD in Canada, which has has an office in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and is also busy in China and Dubai. MAD principal Yansong Ma, a Yale School of Architecture graduate, told the Toronto-based Globe and Mail: "My work has always tried to develop something more organic, more close to nature. We are doing museums, all kinds of projects, but high-rises have close relations with technology and culture. High-rises are landmarks of culture."