Size: 190,000 s.f.
“The mission of the Royal Conservatory is to develop human potential through music and arts.”
– Dr. Peter Simon, President, RCM
The new TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning is the final phase in the Master Plan to build a new home for Canada’s premier music and arts educator, the Royal Conservatory. 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.
Academic Cultural Hybrid
The overall project involved the progressive restoration of McMaster Hall and the construction of a new TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning to create a unique hybrid of a teaching and rehearsal facility and destination concert venue with three major performance venues. The space between the historic and new building is enclosed to create a skylit pedestrian court linking the Bloor Street entrance to the Concert Hall and Lobby. The glass and steel structure of the new addition provides a dynamic counterpoint to the polychromatic facades of the heritage buildings.
Defining a New Cultural Precinct for Toronto
Urbanistically, 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 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.
Although the new additions are substantive in scale and size, the siting, massing and articulation is deferential to the 19th century heritage buildings on Bloor Street which have housed the RCM since 1962. The emphasis on transparency and contemporary building systems create a dynamic counterpoint to the polychromatic masonry walls when encountered from Philosopher’s Walk. KPMB was also involved in the restoration of the exterior heritage fabric and 240-seat Ettore Mazzoleni Hall.
Academic – Professional Conservatory
A key mandate was to maximize the capacity and flexibility for integrating new technology and adapting to changes and growth in programs. The new additions include 43 new teaching and practice studios, the renovation of Ihnatowycz Hall (1898) and a new 150-seat Conservatory Theatre, a rehearsal space designed to accommodate a range of functions, from special events to the Learning Through the Arts. In scale and proportion it replicates the acoustic quality and stage size of the main Koerner Concert Hall to prepare students for live performance.
In addition to Mazzoleni Hall and Conservatory Theatre, the project incorporates the 1,135-seat Michael and Sonja Koerner Concert Hall. Koerner Hall is the performance heart of the project, and will provide a premiere acoustical environment. Its undulating wood ‘veil’ integrated with the canopy above the stage define an iconic image for the RCM.
Overall, the TELUS Centre emphasizes the primacy of acoustics to directly support the RCM’s educational mission to nurture a creative society.
273 Bloor Street West, Toronto
The Royal Conservatory
Marianne McKenna (partner-in-charge), Robert Sims (associate-in-charge), David Smythe (project architect), Meika McCunn (project architect), Carolyn Lee, Frances Lago, Dan Benson, Krista Clark, Bill Colaco, George Friedman, Ramon Janer, Erik Jensen, David Jesson (2006–2007), John Mestito, Gary Yen, Robin Ramcharan, Rita Kiriakis, Lexi Kolt-Wagner, Scott Pomeroy, Olga Pushkar, Mark Simpson, Jimmy Sun, Deborah Wang, Chris Wegner, Norm Li, Clare Radford
Sound Space Design with Aercoustics Engineering Ltd (acoustics), Anne Minors Performance Consultants (theatre), Halcrow Yolles (structural), Crossey Engineering Ltd. (electrical), Merber Corporation (mechanical), Janet Rosenberg + Associates (landscape), Turner & Townsend cm2r Inc. (cost), Martin Conboy Lighting Design (architectural lighting), Engineering Harmonics (AV), Goldsmith Borgal & Company Ltd. Architects (heritage), Bhandari and Plater Inc. (signage),
Chris Dineley, Anjinnov Management
PCL Constructors Canada
Landscape Architects: Janet Rosenberg + Associates (JRA)
Plant Selection: JMM Design Studio, Julie Moir Messervy
Architects: KPMB Architects
Marianne McKenna Honoured With Fellowship Of The Royal Conservatory
October 21, 2011
KPMB receives TWO 2010 Heritage Toronto Awards of Excellence
October 06, 2010
Royal Conservatory wins Best of Canada Award
August 10, 2010
Royal Conservatory wins Pug Award
June 17, 2010
KPMB wins 11th Governor General's Medal for Architecture
April 27, 2010
Koerner Hall: With clever lighting, an instant opera house
March 18, 2010
Wave Effect: Jeanne Gang and architecture’s anti-divas
February 01, 2010
A brilliant beauty built to last
October 24, 2009
Classical: We need more than one concert hall
October 24, 2009
A symphony for sight
October 09, 2009
RCM to be featured on Arts & Minds on Bravo!
September 25, 2009
Royal Conservatory of Music Grand Opening
September 25, 2009
NYC hall highlights Koerner's promise
September 19, 2009
New look for venerable Conservatory
June 22, 2009
The Vital Role of Music
March 31, 2009
Lisa Rochon's Top 5 Architectural Sights
March 02, 2009
The high point for RCM's old building
August 30, 2008
- 2012 Civic Trust Award
- 2011 American Institute of Architects/Committee on Architecture for Education, Educational Facility Design Award
- 2010 United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Architecture Honor Award
- 2010 Ontario Association of Architects Award of Excellence
- 2010 Governor General's Award
- 2010 Pug Awards, Best in Show
- 2010 Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award
- 2010 Canadian Interiors Best of Canada, Project Winner
- 2010 Heritage Toronto Award
- 2010 RAIC National Urban Design Award
- 2009 Wood Design & Building Award
- 2009 Wood Works! Awards
- 2005 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence
- 1991 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence
Design City Toronto
Emerging: Toronto’s Contemporary Architectural Renaissance
Ourtopias: cities and the role of design
Celebrating Excellence in Wood Structures