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Why writer Tabatha Southey and artist-architect Philip Beesley are smitten with Toronto

The place: C5 at the ROM. The people: writer Tabatha Southey and artist–architect Philip Beesley. The subject: why they’re smitten


Globe and Mail columnist Tabatha Southey is known for her quick wit, but her latest project was a slow burn. Ten years ago, her son Basil’s school asked parents to compose a valentine for their kids. Southey wrote a poem about the make-believe house she wanted to build for Basil, a burgeon­ing architecture fan. That poem is now a storybook, It Must Be As Tall As a Lighthouse, illustrated by starchitect Will Alsop and recently published by Parkdale’s new artisanal press The Book Bakery, which focuses on small print runs of beautiful, visually driven books. Think of it as the locavore movement for the lit set.) Artist and architect Philip Beesley is equally at home in the world of whimsy. An international figure in the trippy field of responsive architecture, he creates structures that change form, colour or shape depending on their environment. This month, he unleashes his hovering, undulating art installation, Sargasso, on the Brookfield Place atrium as part of the Luminato Festival. We brought the design-obsessed duo to one of the city’s most divisive architectural attractions, the ROM Crystal, sprang for lunch and listened in.


Philip Beesley
June 8 to 18
Brookfield Place
It Must Be As Tall As a Lighthouse
Tabatha Southey
On shelves May 1