CreateTO announces winner for St. Lawrence Centre design competition


Ontario Construction News staff writer

CreateTO and TO Live announced this week that Hariri Pontarini Architects, LMN Architects, Tawaw Architecture Collective, Smoke Architecture, and SLA have been selected as the winning design team through the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts (STLC) Design Competition.

The winning design – called Transparence – features a high-performance transparent façade that wraps the existing structure, a landmark performing arts theatre in the heart of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood. It also incorporates several Indigenous design elements, including the exterior which was inspired by the role of Wampum belts in storytelling, artistry and craft and the inclusion of a circular ceremonial fire at Front and Scott streets.

“International competitions like this showcase design excellence and the range of ideas and concepts presented by the shortlisted teams demonstrate a passion and commitment to city building and highlight the potential to create exciting civic spaces. The proposal led by Hariri Pontarini Architects is an innovative design for the heart of the St. Lawrence neighbourhood that envisions new state-of-the-art spaces where artists and the community can come together to create, perform and share ideas,” said Vic Gupta, CEO, CreateTO.

The seven-member jury represented fields of culture, planning, urban design, architecture, Indigenous design and landscape architecture. Selection was based on:

  • Demonstration of a creative, imaginative and innovative response to the opportunities of the site, the building and landscape open space programs
  • Innovations demonstrated and identified around sustainable and accessible design, including how the design responds to the requirements of the Toronto Green Standard, as well as the extent to which designs meet or exceed the Toronto Accessibility Design
  • The reimagining of the STLC is an “opportunity to create a unique cultural hub that combines themes of culture and community with technology, accessibility and sustainability.”
  • The new STLC will include a main stage theatre, acoustic hall, rehearsal/multi-purpose rooms, artist-inresidence studios, media studios, child minding space, front of house public spaces, outdoor spaces and significant improvements to the public realm.

The five shortlisted design teams publicly presented their designs at the STLC on Mar. 7. They are:

  • Brook McIlroy | Trahan Architects | Hood Design Studio
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects | Smoke Architecture | MVVA
  • Hariri Pontarini Architects | LMN Architects | Tawaw Architecture Collective | Smoke
  • Architecture | SLA
  • RDHA | Mecanoo | Two Row Architect | NAK Design Strategies
  • Zeidler Architecture | Diller Scofidio + Renfro | Two Row Architect | PLANT Architect


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