Size: Stage I: 180,000 s.f. (total for new and existing)
The National Ballet School (NBS) ranks as one of the finest ballet training institutions in the world, on par with the Royal Ballet School in London, the School of American Ballet in New York, and the Paris Opera Ballet School. NBS is the only institution in North America to offer an integral program of professional dance training, advanced level academic education and residential living all on one site. Its state-of-the-art educational and training programs provide students with the skills to become creative, self-assured individuals for whatever career they pursue upon graduation. Approximately 700 students participate in the NBS programs each week.
Project Grand Jeté was conceived to ensure the ongoing evolution of its standards and programs with state-of-the-art facilities. The project weaves together new and heritage buildings. New construction comprises the Celia Franca Training Centre, a vertical campus of three transparent, elevated structures organized into an asymmetrical composition around an existing heritage building, Northfield House, and linked to hertige structures to the north and south via connecting bridges accessed off the piano nobile level. The Celia Franca Centre acts as a backdrop to the historic masonry structures, minimizing the impact of the overall mass on the streetscape. The building is organized as a series of stacked horizontal platforms with floor to ceiling glazing. The platforms become stages to the city, while the city is acquired as a backdrop to the dancers in training.
The space between Northfield House and the Celia Franca Centre is enclosed to create the Town Square, the heart of the school. This three-storey space foregrounds the heritage masonry walls of the heritage building and features an L-shaped Corten steel fireplace and a large digital projection screen. As the space from which all the major support programs radiate and converge - the café, physio department, and Resource Centre – The Town Square embodies NBS’s philosophy to nurture the development of the whole person - body, mind and soul.
The Jarvis Street campus both participates in the intensification and revitalization of its urban context and resonates the balance of tradition and innovation in the art of the ballet by emphasizing an interplay between the heritage elements and the contemporary architecture
400 Jarvis Street, Toronto
Canada's National Ballet School
Celia Franca Centre (KPMB)
Dance Studios: 12 dance studios (8 large, 3 medium, and 1 extra large) constructed to international standards
Common Spaces: Distinct sets of change rooms divided by age group, plus new dressing rooms and wardrobe for the Betty Oliphant Theatre; Town Square with café, library/resource centre, study areas and casual seating
8 academic classrooms; laboratories for computer, science and photography studies; art studio; audio-visual room; music room; ESL room; and study rooms Northfield House (GBCA)
Restoration and adaptive reuse of existing 1856 building for executive offices of NBS
KPMB Project Team
Bruce Kuwabara (design partner), Shirley Blumberg (partner-in-charge), Mitchell Hall (design associate), Olga Pushkar (project architect), Myriam Tawadros, Ramon Janer, Jeff Strauss, Jill Greaves, Virginia Dos Reis, Jimmy Sun, Krista Clark, Maryam Nourmansouri
GBCA Project Team
Phil Goldsmith (principal in charge), Paul Gagné (design associate), Allan D. Killin (associate architect), Mark Krapez, Darryl Fisher, Ida Seto, Gill Haley, Tanya Cazzin, Christopher Borgal
Yolles Partnership Inc. (structural), Crossey Engineering Ltd. (mechanical & electrical), The MBTW Group (landscape architects), Shady Lane Expert Tree Care Inc. (arborist), Scott Thornley + Company Inc. (branding), Bhandari & Plater Inc. (signage), Urban Strategies Inc. (urban planners), Marrack + Associates Inc. (food services), Engineering Harmonics (AV), Catherine Williams Fine Art Consultants Inc. (public art), Graycom Analysis (IT), MCD Design Group Ltd. (furniture), Aercoustics Engineering Ltd. (acoustic), Soberman Engineering Ltd. (elevator), ITrans Consulting Inc. (traffic), Shaheen & Peaker Ltd. (geotechnical), RWB Engineering Ltd. (shoring), Rabideau & Czerwinski (land surveyors), A.W. Hooker & Associates Ltd. (quantity surveyors, arch/struc), Clare Randall-Smith & Ass. Ltd. (quantity surveyors, mechanical/electrical), Larden Muniak Consulting Inc. (building code)
Eastern Construction Ltd.
*Note: Phil Goldsmith of GBCA developed the original master plan to create expanded facilities for NBS and to integrate existing heritage buildings on Jarvis and Maitland Streets. Stage I was developed and executed by the joint venture of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects and Goldsmith Borgal and Company Limited Architects (KPMB/GBCA). KPMB led the design of the Celia Franca Centre (CFC). The design vision for the CFC was generated by KPMB’s design principal Bruce Kuwabara and evolved under the direction of Shirley Blumberg, partner-in-charge, and Mitchell Hall, design associate.
"A Banner Year for Building: Ten Projects that changed Toronto in 2006"
December 30, 2006
Living City - A Critical Guide
February 05, 2009
- 2009 American Institute of Architects/Committee on Architecture for Education, Educational Facility Design Award
- 2009 Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award
- 2008 Governor General's Award
- 2008 Urban Land Institute Award for Excellence
- 2008 RAIC National Urban Design Award
- 2008 Urban Land Institute Global Award for Excellence
- 2007 American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Architecture
- 2007 Toronto Urban Design Award
- 2006 Canadian Interiors Best of Canada, Project Winner
- 2006 Ontario Association of Architects Award of Excellence
- 2006 Pug Awards, Best in Show
- 2006 Heritage Toronto Award
Surface (New York)
Design City Toronto
Architectural Record: AIA Honour Awards
The Architectural Review
Ourtopias: cities and the role of design
The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture
Arkitektur, Krop, Rum
Atrium (Bratislava, Slovakia)