Size: 79,500 s.f.
The vision for the new Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre (JCCC) was to create a dynamic, contemporary institution which integrates cultural programming and economic development. Simplicity, economy and quality were the guiding principles in the design of the new Centre. A combination of new construction and strategic renovation transformed the existing office building into a cultural facility that is welcoming, accessible and inclusive. The design embodies an idea of community and provides a flexible infrastructure for the full range of programming offered by the institution.
Three major elements – a sign, a screen and a lantern tower – create a distinctive presence for the JCCC on its new site. A large steel and cedar screen wraps the southeast corner of the building and visually directs the new arrival sequence.
A translucent acrylic and steel tower, its form inspired by the Akari lamps designed by Isamu Noguchi, dramatically mark the main entrance. A generous east-west Gallery Street organizes the interior plan and creates a multi-functional space in which the cultural, historical and social programs of the JCCC converge. The Gallery Street is designed to accommodate receptions and special events, an exhibition gallery and spaces for casual meeting.
To draw natural light into the deep horizontal floor plate of the existing building, large floor to ceiling windows were installed in the Gallery Street, framing views to a garden outside. Wood and sandblasted glass screens lining the Street recall traditional Japanese shoji screens.
6 Garamond Court, Don Mills, Ontario
Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre
Adaptive reuse of a 114,000 s.f. industrial building to accommodate 3,000 members and 140,000 annual visitors, including flexible spaces for programming, rentable spaces to host a range of functions, and office space for tenants such as the Government of Japan's Information Centre, the Nikkei Voice newspaper, and the Ikibada daycare program. Phase 1: banquet facilities, martial arts centre, arts and crafts studio, multi-purpose spaces for cultural and education programs; Phase 2: auditorium, gallery, multi-purpose spaces.
Phase 1: $2.5 million; Phase 2: $3.7 million; Phase 3: $2.75 million
Bruce Kuwabara (design partner), Shirley Blumberg (partner-in-charge), Phase 1: Robert Sims (associate-in-charge), Karen Cvornyek, Matthew Wilson, Paulo Rocha, Gianni Meogrossi, Miyako Panalaks; Phase 2: Safdar Abidi (project architect), Anne Lok; Phase 3 (2nd Floor Reno): Safdar Abidi, Garth Zimmer, Gary Yen, Andrea Macaroun
Phase 1: Yolles Partnership Inc. (structural/building envelope), Crossey Engineering (mechanical/electrical), Briggs Environmental Canada Ltd. (environmental), Brian Arnott Associates (theatre), Vermeulens Cost Consulting Ltd. (cost); Phase 2: Yolles Partnership (structural); Merber Corporation (mechanical and electrical), Novita (theatre), Aercoustics (acoustical), Vermeulens Cost Consultants (cost)