A city in a a building | Bennett Oh
Toronto, Canada | 2018



Maelstrom is conceived as a crossbreed between architecture and urban planning. Embracing the intersection of various systems, demographics, programs, and activities, the building simply manifests the complex nature and needs of urban living condition. Formed like as amalgamation of buildings, project results in an internal microcosms which constellates in chain reactions of unexpected events and situations.

To further this concept, means of vertical movement has been varied. In order to avoid the mistakes in the planning – “The fact that city blocks serve no purpose other than as space to pass is the eponymous character of urban corridor.” Programs and activities are exposed and closely juxtaposed to weave intricate network of public spaces that every journey between levels becomes a spectacle on its own. This act of extreme juxtaposition of abjects can take mundane ingredients found in the context of liberty village and elevate them to the state of fantastic.


Each program block size for its optimal floor plate, ceiling height, and facade that expresses its nature and purpose. Public spaces enclosed within these blocks of program blocks become urban living rooms with living wallpapers. These rooms are scaled in between urban and architecture, enabling a new public strata for interaction and meeting for visitors and inhabitants alike.


Structure adheres closely to the main concept of amalgamation of low to mid rise building comprising a fantastic mixed-use high rise. Goal was to emulate the hectic urban experience while keeping hierarchy of program and visitor navigation intuitive and clear.



The structural concept for the building has been considered and developed to best achieve the architectural vision for the project, balancing between the ease of construction and cost.



A steel frame system is implemented to expedite the construction and prefabricated open web steel joists are used to allow a potential complex structural arrangement to be realized efficiently. Deep foundation is used to counter the vertical cantilever due to the height of the building.


The overarching structural scheme is collection of structurally autonomous blocks skewered by common cores and columns that are strategically braced by horizontal program blocks. These blocks span between multiple cores and braced with exposed mega trusses.



About Bennet Oh

Bennett is an architecture student at the University of Waterloo currently enrolled in his fourth year of his study. His past experience includes internships at OMA, Revery Architects, and 3XN. He enjoys participating in competitive projects, and is always looking for opportunities to make everyday a little more interesting.



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