On Reading, Anxiety and Water: A Sanatorium on the Toronto Portlands
The thesis is comprised of three essays and a design project of a fictional sanatorium and attached public park for the Toronto Portlands. The project basically pursues a sense of architectural place that is most clearly expressed in Literary Realism which seeks to convey a moment of clarity and understanding through a direct focus on arbitrary details. The site itself is located and balanced between two views alternately looking outwards, over the lake, towards an horizon of <i>otium</i> or reflecting back, across the harbour, to the skyline of Toronto and a complimentary horizon of <i>negotium</i> thereby defining a basic focus for the project. The fictional sanatorium accommodates the vast and subtle range of anxieties and stresses today, providing reading as a central means to recovery. The particular impulses and conflicts addressed therein are not solely self-referential conditions of illness but provide powerful amplifications of conditions that are not only common, but also intimate to almost every life in the placeless modern city. Each of the essays in this thesis focuses the world through a distinct relationship to reading ranging from contemporary fascination to an archaic anxiety to a clear release from reading. This thesis aims,overall, to identify a contemporary type of place that responds to modern life with all its contradiction and complexity and change, but finally both the focus and programme of the thesis are most simply condensed as a nice place for people to read.