May 2, 2018

The 87 Peter Art Installation

Toronto sees public art as an extension of its buildings, and through the Toronto Official Plan, private sector developments are encouraged to allocate a percentage of their budget to public art. The guiding principles behind the Percent for Public Art Program are to further enrich the environment by making buildings and open spaces more attractive for the city’s residents and visitors. The 87 Peter art installation contributes to this initiative with a bold piece by Jaako Pernu. The installation wraps around the west and north elevations of the above-ground commercial parking lot of 87 Peter, located in Toronto’s entertainment district, making a strong visual statement for the street.

Jaako Pernu, a sculptor and environmental artist from Finland, was a perfect choice for this large-scale project. He enjoys making site-specific artwork, distinguished by the use of oversized natural materials. His recent work includes many public displays in Europe and Canada. The 87 Peter art installation is designed to spread awareness of climate change through his artistic depiction of a gigantic air pressure map adapted from a North American weather forecast. In his proposal, Pernu expressed his concern about the changing climate with “recent years showing increasing temperatures in various regions and increasing extremities in weather patterns.” His piece is designed to spread awareness of “one of the greatest threats facing the planet” in a visual way.

Pernu searched through hundreds of barometric maps before finding one that suited the site. His aluminum design is displayed across grey panelling, enhancing the facade of the three-storey parking lot. The white contours mounted onto aluminum plates depict barometric isobars, which trace lines of equal pressure to map out atmospheric patterns.

Jaako Pernu’s vision is integrated into 87 Peter. His work is one of the many high-quality pieces displayed throughout the city that enhance Toronto’s urban fabric.