Our sense of community is central to creating spaces that excite the imagination, nurture the arts and culture, and develop social spaces that make municipalities thrive. From understanding the flow of pedestrian traffic to developing multi-function/use facilities, there are many elements that go into designing quality recreation and cultural centres within our cities, towns and neighbourhoods.
Our experience partnering with municipalities on projects from libraries to cultural centres has enabled us to work effectively with community user groups, and reflect the local heritage through design while maintaining a minimal impact of the environment to protect the area’s natural resources. It is our intent to design a source of pride for the community, the facility users and municipality itself.
Gibson Cultural CentreBack to Top
The former co-op building has been a part of the community since 1889. There have been few projects as ambitious as The Gibson Centre for Community Arts and Cultural in the town of Alliston’s history. The fact that the community is coming together and volunteering to preserve part of the history of the town shows they have great pride for their heritage.
Supporting and appreciating the arts is an important part of cultural enhancement and is not only the foundation of the organization’s mission statement, but also the reason countless volunteers don’t think twice about devoting their own time and energy to furthering the cause. Numerous renovations were required from installing new windows to restoring the exterior and the original interior woodwork of the building. The plans are designed to expose and enhance the wood and historical elements of the existing building structure.
2004 Wood Design Award
Southshore Community CentreBack to Top
The project began with the restoration and renovation of the 1904 CN Master Mechanics Building. The next stage involved adding a new community centre hall on the main level and areas for the Barring Rowing Club and Barrie Canoe Club on the lower level. Situated on the south shore of Kempenfelt Bay, the centre takes full advantage of the scenic views and ideal water access.
The re-conditioning of the existing building and seamless addition provides a popular landmark, which the community has taken great pride in. The structure of the hall is reminiscent of timber trestle bridge construction. The detailing of the building reinforces the railroad and nautical themes.
The resulting facility is enjoyed by boaters, pedestrians and an endless list of centre users.
2001 Barrie Urban Design Award of Excellence
Barrie Public LibraryBack to Top
The challenge was to design a building appropriate to its neighbours while maintaining the stature of a major public institution and anticipating the developments of future technologies. The library occupies an entire city block adjacent to the city’s historic downtown core and bounded by three hundred-year old churches in traditional Gothic style.
The building is organized on either side of the “Great Reading Hall”. This “L” shaped space separates the outer stack areas from the entrance court, which addresses the corner. As the heart of the building, the hall is a continuous two and one half-story volume with an exposed curved metal roof and clerestory windows. The full height windows at each end of the hall create a strong visual connection to the exterior streetscape.
2001 Barrie Urban Design Award of Excellence
Muskoka Lakes Public LibraryBack to Top
The Muskoka Lakes Library serves as a central library building and tourism information centre for the Muskoka Lakes region. Situated in a popular cottage destination area, the library is a casual building, reflecting the typology of a cottage among rock and forest of the Canadian Shield.
Located on a steep site, the library’s two floors minimize the building’s footprint and thoroughly engage the site. A lookout tower defines entrances at both levels, while addressing the street and providing glimpses of the nearby river. The exterior patios and trellis-covered walkways identify the library as a pubic building while exuding the cottage style of the Muskokas. Outdoor seating constructed of logs and limestone boulders further connect the library to the site.
Mnjikaning First Nation Nii Jii CafeBack to Top
We completed both the original design, in 1998, and the expansion in 2006. The recent addition expanded a small gas station and coffee shop into a modern gas bar, a small fresh food market as well as a deli and sit down cafe. The unique mix of programming serves both the resident Mnjikaning community and the transient casino traffic.