(renamed as Meridian Hall)
1 Front Street East
A series of light and illuminated new furniture/service points reanimate a tired modern lobby.
The initial brief calls for an examination of how to transform the O’Keefe Centre, as it was then known, into a vastly improved home for its two principal tenants: The National Ballet of Canada and the Canadian Opera Company.
Emerging from this exercise is a vision for a new adjustable auditorium configuration with a moveable sound-wall, enabling the performance room to function as an intimate classical opera house with seating for 2100 and great natural acoustics. Or, when higher seat counts are required for budgetary reasons, a sound-wall at the cross aisle along the edge of the upper balcony is lifted, freeing up 900± additional seats.
PETER DICKINSON’S MODERN ICON
The advantage of the proposal is that it revalues and repurposes a modern heritage building while keeping its core fabric intact.
BUILDING WITHIN A BUILDING
The proposal, if realized, enables the project to be built for a fraction of the cost and within a shortened time frame when compared to an entirely new building. It also enables the venue to adjust ticket sales (opening the 900 seats of the balcony, especially for amplified events) when the performance budget and seat count require.
PHASE I: FRESHEN/LIGHTEN
Unfortunately, only the first phase of the project, which involves sound enhancement and reseating of the auditorium and improving patron services, was realized.
KPMB ARCHITECTS: Thomas Payne (partner-in-charge) Victoria Gregory, David Jesson (associates-in-charge)
Michael Awad, Volker Seding