Marianne McKenna - KPMB Architects

“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

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

“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.”

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.

Featured Projects

Kindred Works
Several locations across Canada, ongoing
40-44 Broadway Avenue / St. Monica’s Roman Catholic Church
Toronto, Ontario, TBD
Bloor Street United Church and Cielo Condos
Toronto, Ontario, 2024
Boston University, Center for Computing & Data Sciences
Boston, Massachusetts, 2022
Massey Hall Renovation and Expansion
Toronto, Ontario, 2015 (Phase 1); 2022 (Phase 2)
Parliamentary Precinct Redevelopment of Block 2
Ottawa, Ontario, Unbuilt
Park Hyatt, Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, 2021
Jenny Belzberg Theatre, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Banff, Alberta, 2020
The Brearley School, NYC
New York City, New York, 2019
Lloyd Hall Renovation, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Banff, Alberta, 2018
The Globe and Mail Office Interiors and Corporate Event Space
Toronto, Ontario, 2017
Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois, 2017
Thornwood House
Toronto, Ontario, 2016
St. Michael’s Cathedral Block Master Plan
Toronto, Ontario, 2015
Torys LLP, Montreal
Montreal, Quebec, 2015
Orchestra Hall Renewal, Minnesota Orchestra
Minneapolis, Minnesota, 2013
The Joseph L. Rotman School of Management Expansion, University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, 2012
Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre, University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario, 2012
Roy Thomson Hall (Wine Bar & Enhancement)
Toronto, Ontario, 2012 (Wine Bar); 2002 (Enhancement)
Conrad Hotel
New York City, New York, 2012
Torys LLP, Calgary
Calgary, Alberta, 2012
Le Quartier Concordia
Montreal, Quebec, 2011 (Guy-Métro Building Recladding); 2009 (John Molson School of Business); 2005 (Gina Cody School of Engineering and Computer Science)
Rosedale Clubhouse Enhancement Feasibility Study
Toronto, Ontario, 2010
Branksome Hall Master Plan Update
Toronto, Ontario, 2009
Royal Conservatory TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning / Koerner Hall
Toronto, Ontario, 2009
Torys LLP, Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, 2008
CTV Executive Offices
Toronto, Ontario, 2008
St. Andrew’s College
Aurora, Ontario, 2003
McGill University and Génome Québec Innovation Centre
Montreal, Quebec, 2003
Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, 2001
McKee Public School
North York, Ontario, 1998
Royal Conservatory, Ettore Mazzoleni Hall
Toronto, Ontario, 1997
Grand Valley Institution for Women
Kitchener, Ontario, 1996
Kitchener City Hall
Kitchener, Ontario, 1993