Category Archives: Landscape Architecture

Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg: Twenty Years of Breaking Ground

Grounded: The Work of Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg

? 2010: Julian Smith, Ken Greenberg, Bruce Kuwabara, Doug Paterson, Jacqueline Hucker, Eduard Koegel & Kelty McKinnon; forward by Michael Van Valkenburgh

With a book called Grounded, it’s hardly surprising that the founding partners of Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg are so, well, down to earth. We had the pleasure of meeting the Smallenberg and Farevaag components of the PFS team at a recent Toronto gathering, celebrating the launch of the Vancouver firm’s impressive monograph.

Showcasing PFS’s planning, urban design and landscape architecture works, Grounded is also an intriguing walk through time and place, featuring seven commissioned essays by some of today’s most influential architects, planners and historians. Jacqueline Hucker discusses commemorative architecture, including the Canadian memorial in Vimy Ridge, France, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa; Bruce Kuwabara explores landscape architecture’s civic role; and Ken Greenberg, Douglas Paterson, Julian Smith, Eduard Koegel and Kelty McKinnon offer a range of PFS-oriented perspectives.

All of this is wrapped up in the lush, clean design of Argentinian-born Canadian Pablo Mandel. Oh, and that cover? It may look like a Legoland paradise, but it’s all real. Check it out next time you’re hovering over the Washington Mutual Centre’s Roof Garden in Seattle. (2010: Blue Imprint; ISBN 9781897476208)


Doors Open Opening!

Tim Fraser for National Post

Swipe and BUILT are pleased to announce that we will be hosting Margaret and Phil Goodfellow, authors of the newly released Guide to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto, as they meet the public and answer questions about Toronto’s architectural renaissance on the opening day of Doors Open, Saturday May 29th, in the lobby lounge of 401 Richmond Street West from 2 pm to 3:30 pm. Please join us!


With Doors Open Toronto 2010 just around the corner, we here at Swipe and BUILT are more thankful than ever to be part of the extraordinary arts and culture complex at 401 Richmond Street West. A prime destination during the festival, 401 is expecting several thousand visitors over the weekend of May 29th and 30th. Accordingly, Swipe and Built will be open Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm.

In celebration of this celebration of our city’s cultural, social and architectural heritage, BUILT offers a selection of Torontoniana published since last year’s post, beginning with a tremendously significant new release that documents one of the most exciting moments in Toronto’s long architectural history. That moment is, you may have guessed, right now.


A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto
? 2010: Margaret and Phil Goodfellow cdnmapleleaf

The past two decades have seen an explosion of building in our city, and while from an urban-planning perspective much of this development might be viewed with suspicion, from a purely aesthetic perspective, many of these buildings are thoughtful, challenging and truly beautiful. Authored by Toronto Society of Architects stalwarts Margaret and Phil Goodfellow, this up-to-the-minute guide documents sixty projects completed between 1992 and 2010 that form the core of this Toronto architectural renaissance. Organized by neighbourhood, this pocket-sized guide is equally delightful whether readers choose to hit the streets or do their site-seeing from an armchair. (2010: Douglas & McIntyre; ISBN 9781553654445)


Please join us as we host Margaret and Phil on the opening day of Doors Open, Saturday May 29th in the lobby lounge at 401 Richmond Street West at 2 pm. In the meantime, listen to an interview with Phil by Peter Stock of CIUT 89.5 FM:



The Edible City: Toronto’s Food from Farm to Fork
? 2009: Alana Wilcox & Christina Palassio, editors cdnmapleleaf

New from the uTOpia team, the 40 essays in Edible City examine all aspects of the way that Torontonians feed themselves, from fancy restaurant to urban slaughterhouse, from disappearing farmland to balcony container garden. (2009: Coach House Books; ISBN 1552452190)

HTO: Toronto’s Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-flow Toilets
? 2008: Christina Palassio & Wayne Reeves, editors cdnmapleleaf

With its harbour and sprawling lakeshore, two major river systems with a network of ravines and creeks, and a massive sewer and water-supply system, Toronto is a city of waterways. This fourth volume in the influential uTOpia series explores the city’s relationship with water, both in the landscape and in our domestic and industrial lives. (2008: Coach House Books; ISBN 9781552451946)

Historical Atlas of Toronto, paperback
? 2009: Derek Hayes cdnmapleleaf

In this new addition to the acclaimed series, geographer Derek Hayes charts Toronto’s history, presenting more than 200 period maps that together provide a unique visual record of the city’s development. (2008: Douglas & McIntyre Ltd; ISBN 9781553654971)

The Shape of the Suburbs: Understanding Toronto’s Sprawl
? 2009: John Sewell cdnmapleleaf

A meticulous and thoughtful account of how Toronto became ‘Greater’ Toronto, expanding on the author’s classic study The Shape of the City. John Sewell includes anecdotes on the origin and purpose of Toronto’s expressway system, the economic and political history of infrastructure in the 905, and the unlikely connection between the QEW and Adolph Hitler. (2009: University of Toronto Press; ISBN 9780802095879)

Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto
? 2010: Shawn Micallef & Marlena Zuber cdnmapleleaf

Shawn Micallef, Eye columnist, senior editor at Spacing and a co-founder of the [murmur] project, explores Toronto’s buildings and streetscapes as dynamic cultural entities, examining not only their structure and purpose but also the ways they are used and experienced by the people who inhabit them. The thirty-two featured walks, guided by hand-drawn maps from illustrator Marlena Zuber, invite the reader to experience the city at a pace that celebrates the details as well as the grand vision. (2010: Coach House Books; ISBN 1552452263)

The Edible City: Toronto’s Food from Farm to Fork: $24.95
HTO: Toronto’s Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-flow Toilets: $24.95
Historical Atlas of Toronto: $34.95
The Shape of the Suburbs: Understanding Toronto’s Sprawl: $24.95
Stroll: Psychogeographic Walking Tours of Toronto: $24.95


To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at:

Jane's Walk and Jane's Legacy

What We See: Advancing the Observations of Jane Jacobs
? 2010: Stephen A. Goldsmith & Lynne Elizabeth

To coincide with the annual Jane’s Walk series of free neighbourhood walking tours, Built and Swipe have, by an exclusive arrangement, received advanced copies of this timely revisitation of the ideas and work of urban-activist Jane Jacobs. Heeding Jacobs’ collaborative approach to city and community building, What We See presents the personal and professional observations of thirty practitioners across the fields of economics, social activism and urban planning as they seek to refresh Jacobs’ theories for the present day. The resulting collection of original essays offers the generalist, the activist and the urban planner practical examples of the benefits of community participation, pedestrianism, diversity, environmental responsibility and self-sufficiency. (2010: New Village Press; ISBN 9780981559315)


One Jane’s Walk in particular, King-Spadina: One of ‘The Two Kings’, guided by Paul Bedford and Margie Zeidler (Saturday, May 1, 2010 at 10:00 am), quite conveniently, passed right by Swipe Books at 401 Richmond Street West, where copies of What We See were available for purchase. And, of course, always on offer are works by Jane Jacobs herself, a range of interesting titles directly related to Jacobs’ legacy, and an unrivaled selection of books and journals on urban issues and architecture in general.


To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at:

Camps: Beyond Archery and S'mores

Temporary and portable architecture are fashionable subjects. However, such projects are most often considered simply as novelties associated either with recreation or with the outsider lifestyle. On the contrary, in the real world, temporary and portable architecture are most strongly associated with necessity, emergency or traditional cultural nomadism. The following two books take the less superficial view, offering a more practical perspective on the subject.


Camps: A Guide to 21st-Century Space
? 2009: Charley Hailey

Oddly compelling, Camps: A Guide to 21st Century Space takes an almost obsessive / compulsive approach to it’s subject. An expansion of Hailey’s doctoral dissertation, the guide provides a typology of camp forms, divided into three categories: Autonomy (protest camp, peace camp, etc.), Control (immigrant camp, concentration camp, etc.) and Necessity (refugee camp, homeless camp, mass shelter camp, etc.)

Although for many of us ‘camping’ involves a temporary living condition for self amusement, Haily looks beyond the Western leisure tradition, suggesting that “Camps register the struggles, emergencies, and possibilities of global existence as no other space does.” Of the more than 100 camp types examined, fewer than 20 involve recreation of any kind. Hailey demonstrates the gravity and potential of camps as indicators of the contemporary social climate and political landscape. (2009: MIT Press; ISBN 9780262512879)

Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises
? 2006: Cameron Sinclair, ed. & Kate Stohr, ed.

Architecture for Humanity is a non-profit organization that provides humanitarian design services to communities in need world-wide. Since 1999, they have been challenging architects and designers to build more sustainable and socially responsible projects and have collected hundreds of proposals from design professionals around the world. Design Like You Give a Damn present the first decade of such responses to a range of global humanitarian crises. Among many fascinating examples is paraSITE, a project by Michael Rakowitz that provides ‘urban nomads’ with shelter and warmth by attaching plastic tents to building heating and ventilation exhaust ducts. (2006: Metropolis Books; ISBN 1933045256)

Camps: A Guide to 21st-Century Space: $39.95
Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises: $39.95

paraSITE by Michael Rakowitz

paraSITE by Michael Rakowitz


To purchase any of the products or titles mentioned here, please visit our downtown Toronto location, call us toll-free at 1-800-56-swipe or e-mail us at: