Waterfront Architecture: Placemaking and Context by 3XN the first solo architecture exhibition in Toronto

Waterfront Architecture

Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark opened the first solo architecture exhibition by renowned Danish architecture firm 3XN in North America. The exhibition, titled Waterfront Architecture: Placemaking and Context, will feature several completed and in-progress waterfront projects by 3XN and will be shown in the Hines and Tridel Bayside Presentation Center showroom in Toronto. This exhibition is predicated on the idea that waterfronts should be the most valuable and desirable areas in harbor cities and that quality waterfront design has to go beyond the buildings themselves.

The exhibition highlights 3XN’s global and local waterfront expertise, showcasing eleven projects: Aqualuna, Aquabella, and T3 Bayside, all in Toronto; the Sydney Fish Market and Quay Quarter Tower in Sydney, Australia; the Museum of Liverpool in Liverpool, England; the Lighthouse in Aarhus, Denmark; Den Blå Planet National Aquarium; UN City; the Saxo Bank Headquarters and the Horten Headquarters in Copenhagen, Denmark. Each project has been designed to amplify local waterfront sites and create a unique impact on the people that occupy them.

The exhibition itself tries to pose, and answer, the question: how can design and architecture create multi-functional spaces that make the most of where people want to be? Instead of establishing a signature style, 3XN draws on different ways of using space, light, and materials for each project, creating inspiring environments that improve connections and give something back to the local community. “We realized that more than half of our work relates to water. In Denmark, there are more than 2000 km of waterfront. It is almost hard to get a site without a water view. It is almost in our blood,” explains Kim Herforth Nielsen, founder and design director of 3XN.

The exhibition emphasizes 3XN’s approach to architecture as deeply rooted in humanistic and democratic principles, evidenced by the firm’s philosophy that “architecture shapes behavior.” 3XN has earned a reputation for creating contextual landmarks and human-centered urban environments. The residential project Aqualuna works to redefine the city of Toronto’s relationship with the water, maximizing interaction with the outdoors through an undulating façade that grants each dwelling with spectacular views of the water. The Sydney Fish Market, which will integrate multiple market functions, is similarly designed to create public access to the water.

“People will be able to get so close, a visitor should be able to dip a toe in it,” explains 3XN Senior Partner Audun Opal. The exhibition will serve as the backdrop for the ROCKWOOL Thought Leadership Series at Bayside in collaboration with Hines and Tridel. Through panel discussions, lectures and PechaKucha-style presentations, the series will explore a variety of themes such as Water, Innovation, Placemaking, Technology, Health, Wellbeing, and Sustainability throughout the duration of the exhibition. The exhibit is free to the public and will run until late spring at The Hines Tridel Bayside Presentation Centre located at 261 Queens Quay East in Toronto. Source and photos Courtesy of 3XN.

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