Build Toronto, in partnership with the City of Toronto, has announced Adamson Associates Architects, Henning Larsen Architects, and PMA Landscape Architects as the winning design team selected from the Etobicoke Civic Centre Design Competition to design a new 46,500-square-metre (500,000-square-foot) Etobicoke Civic Centre as part of the six-hectare (14-acre) Westwood Theatre Lands redevelopment.
The winning design, developed by a partnership of architects from Toronto and Copenhagen, best satisfied the guiding principles established in the Request for Proposals, showing flexibility and an iconic design well suited for the community.
“This proposal sensitively reinterprets its context of place and possesses a depth of design story beyond the skin of its built form. It showcases a unique ability to openly welcome and engage everyone in a setting that is both civic and communal,” said Gordon Stratford, senior vice president and design principal, HOK and the jury chair of the Etobicoke Civic Centre Design Competition. “On behalf of the jury, I would like to acknowledge all participating design teams and thank them for their considerable efforts in interpreting the competition brief and presenting thoughtful solutions for the integration of office, community hub and civic space.”
The five-member jury made the recommendation for this proposal based on its ability to meet four key concepts:
• Environmental sustainability – This proposal demonstrates an ability to achieve a net zero target, and the implementation of a progressive wellness standard for the future workforce occupying the new facility.
• Flexibility – The design of interior and exterior public spaces and related programs enables a broad range and size of community activities. As well, the proposed office floor plate offers the greatest flexibility in support of achieving the City’s office modernization program.
• Community identity – This design builds its story upon the context and diversity of Etobicoke, creating an animated visual signature of “a place of many homes” that is both welcoming and dynamic. The resulting integrity of design concept will frame future neighbourhood growth with its distinctive landmark presence.
• Pedestrian scale – The design has sculpted a large program into a context-sensitive cascade of articulated smaller built forms and spaces, resulting in an inviting interior and exterior pedestrian scale and animated street presence. This approach also enables ease of phasing development over time. As well. the landscape architecture’s promise of a spectrum of public outdoor activity spaces has the potential to infuse the poetic yet pragmatic building design story throughout the site.
The new Etobicoke Civic Centre is composed of five program elements – municipal offices including gathering and civic function space, a community recreation centre, a Toronto Public Library district branch, a child care centre, and an outdoor civic plaza. A new urban park, south of the civic plaza, will complement the outdoor civic function for new and existing residents.
Four shortlisted design teams publicly presented their designs on Tuesday, April 25 to more than 140 community members, councillors, city staff, and the project teams in the council chamber at the existing Etobicoke Civic Centre. Following the submission of community comments, the designs were then judged the following day by the jury.
With the completion of the design competition, following City Council direction, Build Toronto will undertake a business case analysis that will closely examine the merits of a new build versus ongoing maintenance and operation of the existing civic centre. The business case will be presented to Council in fall 2017.
The new Etobicoke Civic Centre will be located within Etobicoke Centre, one of four vital mixed-use communities that were identified in the City’s Official Plan as being where the city’s rapid transit network, where jobs, housing and services are concentrated.
Stage 1 of the design competition began in December 2016 through a Request for Supplier Qualifications. Stage 2 of the competition was launched in February this year, when the shortlisted teams were selected to submit their proposals through a Request for Proposals.
The shortlisted design teams were:
• Adamson Associates Architects | Henning Larsen Architects | PMA Landscape Architects
• Diamond Schmitt Architects | Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
• KPMB Architects | West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture
• Moriyama & Teshima Architects | MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects | FORREC Ltd.
Images of the shortlisted team’s proposed design visions are available at bit.ly/2pFWMGp