Déjà Vu: Toronto & Vegas Get Crystallized

Toronto pulled off a coup in recent years by getting a few Starchitects to add to the local landcape. Frank Gehry’s stunning makeover of the AGO swirled into our hearts, Jack Diamond’s rethink of the home of the Canadian Opera Company was so popular, they asked him to build another opera house in Russia and of course, there is the much loved and hated Crystal by Daniel Libeskind at The Royal Ontario Museum.

Libeskind's Crystal for the ROM, Toronto

Its steel peaks jut out over Bloor Street in a very un-Torontonian way. We are a polite people. This structure doesn’t say excuse me when you pass it on the street, on your way to luxe stops like Ports 1961, Chanel and Hermès.

It gives Toronto a wee bit of the fabulous. But just a little, please. We don’t want to spoil our dinner.

If you are looking for the actual luxe life, forget shopping on Bloor Street (even during Boxing Week) and venture to Vegas.

The city has just launched a 500,000-square-foot luxury shopping mall called the Crystals – something that might bring about a déjà vu for us, Torontonians.

The Crystals Mall by Libeskind, Las Vegas

It’s all part of an (lie down for this) 18 million-square-foot complex spanning 67 acres, that will include hotels, condos and a casino.

The Crystals and beyond, Las Vegas
Vast Ventures in Vegas

Brand names (like Tom Ford, LV, Tiffany & Co) aren’t just on the walls, they are in them, too. Libeskind designed the retail and entertainment space but here is a sampling of a few other creative minds involved…

  • ARIA Resort & Casino (Cesar Pelli)
  • Mandarin Oriental Hotel/Residences (Pedersen / Tihany)
  • The Harmon Hotel/Residences (Foster and Partners)
  • Vdara Condo/Hotel tower (Rafael Viñoly)
  • Twin luxury condo towers Veer (Helmut Jahn)
  • $40 million worth of modern sculptures and installations by world famous artists

Starchitects and Startists are so tasty. You can never have just one. Sort of like shopping, no?

ROM image courtesy of Studio Daniel Libeskind. Crstyals images courtesy of WWD.

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  1. January 13, 2010

    I love the ROM Crystal and the way it’s built coming out of the old building.

  2. December 30, 2009

    I really like the ROM’s Michael Lee-Chin crystal structure, I’ve never been offended by its hard lines and edges. I agree that it gives Toronto that je ne sais quoi feeling.

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