The Podium Roof Garden is the first transformation in the competition-winning scheme “Agora Theatre” – the Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization. This 3-acre upper-level component of Viljo Revell’s 1965 iconic and visionary City Hall and multi-level public square in Toronto was originally conceived as a ceremonial public space, reached via a giant sculptural ramp. The space was never successful at attracting the public – it was a grim, empty, three acres of concrete that has been closed for well over a decade. The Podium Roof Garden re-conceives this upper level as a public park integrated with the elevated walkway system, and while respecting the complex’s heritage status, reopening it to the public as a truly engaging 21st Century space.
The opening of Toronto City Hall, Toronto, Canada (circa September 1965)
Designed by Viljo Revell, who died a year prior to the complex’s completion, in collaboration with Heikki Castren, Bengt Lundsten, and Seppo Valjus. It features two curved towers arranged around a saucer-shaped Council Chamber.
Going through photos from last summer, I remembered these shots of some early Viljo Revell (1910-1964) housing in Vaasa, Finland. He might not immediately ring a bell, but Revell is the guy who designed the Toronto City Hall.