Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects
The new TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning is the final phase in the Master Plan to build a new home for the Royal Conservatory (RCM). KPMB, under the direction of Marianne McKenna, has been working with the RCM to realize the vision set forth in the 1991 award winning Master Plan. In September 2009, the final phase of the master plan culminated with the completion of Koerner Hall, a 1,135 seat performance venue. The design was strategically conceived to define a new cultural precinct for the City in concert with the transformation of the adjacent ROM and the expansion of the Gardiner Museum around the corner on Queen’s Park. The project occupies an important site in mid-town Toronto at the threshold of the University of Toronto’s downtown campus and integrates Philosopher’s Walk, a landscape pedestrian route that runs north and south linking Bloor Street to Hoskin Avenue.
“The jury particularly appreciates the look of the building and how it relates to the buildings on all sides – an excellent example of how you can retain a building and add to the programme. This design is deferential to the urban context, ‘doing it right’ on all sides without resorting to overblown form-making.”