When completed in 1969, the Toronto Bank Tower would become the tallest building constructed in Toronto and part of Mies van der Rohe’s large portfolio of internationalist architecture (Zimmerman, 72). At the core of the financial district surrounded by a monochromatic landscape of medium-rise structures, Mies’ last project looked almost lonely. The black boxes so powerful and somewhat uninvited to the concrete
context with its proud demeanour of organized right-angled extrusions; flawless in its geometry and disciplined consistencies; his unchanging melody of consecutive black steel beams that say so much yet so little.
It was after the merger of Dominion Bank and the Bank of Toronto that the leading directors of the now Toronto-Dominion proposed a new headquarters to embrace the latest financial institution. President and Chairman of the Board Allan Lambert would see two main proposals; one each from reputable American architects SOM and Torontonian architect John B. Parkin. Skidmore, Owings and Merrill conjured a designed that Lambert deemed ‘a ridiculous proposal on many levels’, while Parkin proposed a hundred-storey concrete monolith to be the tallest building in the Commonwealth (Blake, 54). It would hold the title of Canada’s tallest building for five years until surpassed during the skyscraper boom (Carter, 63).
Zimmerman, Claire. Mies van der Rohe. Germany: TASCHEN, 2006. Print.
Carter, Peter. Mies van der Rohe at Work. Hong Kong: Phaidon, 1999. Print.
Blake, Peter. Master Builders: Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Lloyd Wright. The Norton Library, Print.