BRUCE KUWABARA on view at the Goethe-Institut (163 King West) until April 28. 416-593-5257. Rating: NNN Rating: NNNNN
with a total lack of pretense,
this show features models, drawings, slides and other working and presentation materials for Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects' winning design for the Canadian embassy being built in Berlin. The Goethe-Institut's unassuming display is worth checking out, if only to feel good about Canada's diplomatic savvy.
In terms of raising Canada's cultural profile in Europe, the embassy has a primo location, right on the new German capital's high-profile Potsdamer Platz, which is home to major cultural institutions including the Berlin Film Festival.
The Toronto-based firm has gained prominence for its exquisite attention to detail. This shows not only in the customized light boxes provided for viewing slides of the site, but in the architectural model, which is made of curly maple and other woods rather than easy-to-work-with foamcore.
It's a showstopper, and, seen next to samples of the Canadian materials being used in the construction -- fossil-rich and patterned limestones, glistening polished granite and more delectable woods -- provides an insight into the kind of edge needed to win such a major architectural commission.
Bruce Kuwabara speaks about the project, along with German architect Ulf Meyer and U of T's dean of architecture and landscape architecture, Larry Richards, on Sunday (April 1) at 2 pm.