Imperial Oil Building


Imperial Oil Building

, Canada's largest oil company.

An interesting fact is that this building was the original design for the Toronto City Hall.
Nathan Phillips, Toronto's mayor in 1955, rejected the Mathers and Haldenby design for city hall and opened the commission to an international competition that was eventually won by Finnish architect Viljo Revell. Imperial Oil, in search of a design for their Toronto head office, bought the design from Mathers and Haldenby.

During construction, catering to the wealthy local residents, welding, rather than the then-customary and much noisier riveting technique, was used. The building, on completion, was the largest all-welded steel frame building in the world.

The interior layout is based on the 'core' concept, with most offices having windows and with the various service elements (elevators and meeting rooms) clustered in the centre.

With its thick walls, relatively small windows, a built-in cafeteria, a location separated from major targets, and large offices that could be converted to wards, the IOB was designed to be used, in the event of nuclear attack, as an alternative hospital.

.

The ground floor lobby features a famous mural, "The Story of Oil", executed by York Wilson in 1957. Three years in the planning and construction, the two panels of the diptych are each 25 feet by 32 feet; the left-hand side of the mural depicts the nature of oil from its prehistoric origins, while the right-hand panel portrays the modern benefits of its exploitation.

The mural is made of vinyl acetate and is mounted to the wall in such a way that vibrations in the building will not be transmitted to the artwork, possibly causing it to crack. In addition, a ventilation system behind the same wall prevents moisture collecting on the material. Crawley Films of Ottawa was engaged to document the artwork's realization.

As announced in a press conference on September 29, 2004, the company has re-located to Calgary, Alberta. The building is currently unoccupied and there are, as of September 2007, no new tenants.

ee also

*Fifth Avenue Place (Calgary), the company's current headquarters

References

* Kinsella, Joan C.: Historical Walking Tour of Deer Park, Toronto Public Library Board; Toronto, Ontario, 1996. ISBN 0-920601-26-X

External links

* [http://toronto-111-st-clair-avenue-west.commercial-office-space-for-lease-5-1547-f1.space4lease.ca/ 111 St. Clair Avenue West]
* [http://yorkwilson.com/murals/oil.htm Video clips and commentary by art critics of York Wilson's 'Story of Oil' mural on a website by John Leroux] "'


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