Common Ground was a commission for a permanent artwork in the lobby, corridors and shared spaces of Strachan House, a housing development in Toronto for homeless people. After meeting with residents and hearing about their experiences living on the street, Paul Raff and collaborator David Warne re-interpreted the shifting, stained characteristic of city streets into a new kind of imaginary landscape. Thin tracks of sculpted plywood were laid into the floor forming a pattern based on fractured glass. Over this, concrete was poured which was then subtly hand-coloured to accentuate the design, Finally, varied objects were set, fossil-like, into the floor—a shoe, a small bicycle wheel, etc.—selected by the residents from their encounters on the street.

300 m2

Toronto, Canada


timber formwork, gypsum concrete, pure pigments, urethane, found objects

Project by:
Paul Raff and David Warne