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Marianne McKenna

Founding Partner , O.C., FRAIC, OAA, OAQ, AIA, RIBA

A founding partner of KPMB Architects, Marianne has been honoured as an Officer of the Order of Canada for her contributions to creating “architecture that enriches the public experience.” She was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the Financial Post, and in 2019, one of the top 30 “outstanding women in architecture and design” by AZURE.

Marianne is a strong advocate for putting architecture into the service of fostering community and combining sustainability and innovation for the most positive impact on the urban and natural environment.

Notable projects within the cultural realm include The Royal Conservatory TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning and its associated Koerner Hall (Governor General’s Medal) and the renewal of Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis.

Past projects for science, engineering, and liberal arts programs include the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto (Governor General’s Medal), the Mike and Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre at the University of Waterloo, the McGill University and Genome Quebec Innovation Centre, and Le Quartier Concordia, an integrated vertical campus for Concordia University. Recently completed projects include The Jenny Belzberg Theatre at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, The Brearley School in Manhattan, and the Center for Computing & Data Sciences at Boston University.

Marianne led the revitalization project for Toronto’s iconic Massey Hall and Allied Music Centre, and in Calgary, she is spearheading the expansion and modernization of Arts Commons, Calgary’s largest arts centre. She is also working on a series of community-building projects for Kindred Works and the design of a new Dramatic Arts Building at Yale University that includes the Yale Repertory Theatre.

The first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Design Futures Council, Marianne was recently awarded an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Arts) from Swarthmore College.

Her love of architecture extends to teaching, community activation, and mentoring. For six years she served on the board of Metrolinx, Ontario’s public transportation agency, advocating for design excellence during a time of expansion. She has been a Norman R. Foster Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture and currently sits on the International Advisory Board for the McEwen School of Architecture at Laurentian University.

“It’s the spatial quality of our buildings that moves people. And the relationship between inside and outside, the connection to the urban landscape and the public realm.”

Marianne McKenna - KPMB Architects