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Globe and Mail: Toronto's Commerce Court
Alex Bozikovic | February 8, 2018

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Deco, modern and what's next? The historic home of CIBC could get a dramatic revamp

From Issue No. 266 | February 12, 2018

Architects David Pontarini and Michael McLelland, Globe and Mail Photo
The north tower of Commerce Court in Toronto is photographed on Monday, January 29, 2018.

The North tower of Commerce Court in Toronto. 

The coffee machine hisses and a barista places a cappuccino on the marble counter with a clink.

It's a familiar scene, except for the setting: The café is in the lobby of Commerce Court West in Toronto. It was designed by architect I.M. Pei in the 1960s as a temple of a banking hall: 112 square feet, 33-feet high, unsullied by columns or beams and washed by sunlight through plate glass.

Now, it's got coffee and croissants, and also sofas to lounge on. Clearly, the nature of corporate work has changed, and Commerce Court – the four-building complex at King and Bay that is one of the most significant and symbolic works of architecture in the country – is poised to change, too. The question is, how do you update a modernist megaproject for the 21st century?

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