Toronto Steeles West Station

Toronto Steeles West Station

Entrance to the Cor-ten-clad subway station.
Courtesy Will Alsop/RMJM

Toronto Steeles West Station
Architect: Will Alsop/RMJM with Stevens Group Architects
Client: City of Toronto
Location: Toronto
Completion: 2015

Will Alsop, the British architect best known to Torontonians for his controversial “tabletop-on-stilts” redesign of the Ontario College of Art and Design, has released his final designs for the new Steeles West Subway Station and Bus Terminal.

Renderings of the whopping $159-million project, which is to be built across the street from York University’s Northwest Gate, reveal a bold departure from existing transit hubs. Looking as animated as architecture seen in “The Flintstones,” the subway station’s façade facing Steeles Avenue West will be clad with Cor-ten steel, which will oxidize to a rusty–and rustic–patina. The distinctive façade, crowned with large plain letters spelling the station’s name, is joined by a wide, swooping roof, which extends to and hovers over a six-bay York Region Transit bus terminal.

The design also incorporates several sustainable elements, including cool and green roofs, LED lighting, and water-efficient plumbing fixtures. The new station, however, faces an important challenge aside from its controversial design–it’s situated in an area whose low density, some say, is nowhere close to justifying the huge costs of the new construction, triggering mixed responses from the community. The completed station is scheduled to open in 2015.

Cindy Yewon Chun

Inside the main entrance to the subway station (top); on the platform level (above, left); a station elevation (above, center); inside the bus terminal (above, right); and entrance to the bus terminal (below).
[Click to enlarge.]