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ERA Architects


Serra’s Shift to be designated under Heritage Act

by ERA Architects

In February, Council for King City, Ontario voted to designate Richard Serra’s Shift under the Ontario Heritage Act. This represents a great step forward in formalizing the cultural significance of the work of art, and sets context to establish guidelines for its conservation. ERA wrote a letter in support of designating the work earlier this year.

Shift, completed in 1972, is an important early piece of land art and a relatively early work in the career of Richard Serra, today considered one of the world’s greatest living sculptors. The work, which sprawls over five hectares of farmland not far from Toronto, is designed specifically to address the scale of the landscape and the experience of walking through it.

Now that the work will be designated as a cultural landscape, both the sculpture and the land will be maintained and conserved in a manner appropriate to the work.

Our thanks and congratulations to King City for their formal recognition of the value of this cultural landscape.

If you are interested in the details of the heritage argument in favour of the work, please read ERA’s letter to King City.

Also please see a recent story at the Globe & Mail.

Thanks to Sonia Ramundi for the photos, more of which can be seen on a nice post by Shawn Micallef at

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