Young Centre for the Performing Arts / KPMB Architects

© Tom Arban

The Young Centre for the Performing Arts (YCPA) is the result of a unique partnership between George Brown College and Soulpepper Theatre Company. Since opening in January 2006, the Young Centre has significantly anchored the Distillery District as a cultural destination. The project introduces a new paradigm that combines teaching and live performance in one facility.

Architect: Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg (KPMB) Architects
Location: The Distillery District, Tank Houses 9 and 10, Toronto, ,
Project Area: 44,000 sqf
Project Year: 2006
Photographs: Tom Arban

© Tom Arban

The 44,000 sqf project involved the adaptive reuse of Tank houses 9 and 10 and was delivered within a tight budget of $10.0 million. New interventions are limited yet strategically deployed for maximum impact. The solution focused on developing a clear plan order that would maximize building performance, and create a dynamic platform for performance and teaching. On the exterior an extended, horizontal wood canopy marks a generous entrance that leads into the main lobby space. The two-story high lobby is the signature space of the Young Centre, and was created by enclosing the space between the two Tank Houses with massive, neo-primitive Douglas fir timber trusses that span the historic bearing walls. The lobby differs from the traditional theatre lobby by creating an open venue accessible throughout the day (as opposed to being limited to the hours before and during performances). In this space all users of the centre converge – actors, students, visitors, and patrons. A café, box office and theatre bookstore and tall bar tables and benches encourage the use of this space for formal and informal gatherings and performances. A fireplace and a large video screen stimulates old and new modes of interactivity.

© Tom Arban

The overall design is characterized by a ‘raw warm industrial’ aesthetic to respect the historic fabric of the Gooderham and Worts site, and to realize the design within an economy of means. The raw aesthetic also resonates the ‘edge’ values of the new institution. Brick facades are left exposed, original windows are retained, and the existing cobblestone pavements are conserved. Interior finishes are utilitarian, limited to concrete floors and painted walls. Ceilings are left exposed to meet both cost and functional requirements, but effectively achieve a complex visual canopy that weaves throughout the scheme. The raw and untreated surfaces and textures are animated by natural daylight and, in the evenings, by selectively placed light sources.

elevation + section

Within the Young Centre multiple layers of time and architecture, history and culture, teaching and performance coexist. The architecture casts the historic fabric of the Distillery District as a striking backdrop and stage to the inherent drama generated daily by the actors, performances, and students.

© Tom Arban

The Young Centre for the Performing Arts (YCPA) is the result of a unique partnership between George Brown College and Soulpepper Theatre Company. Since opening in January 2006, the Young Centre has significantly anchored the Distillery District as a cultural destination. The project introduces a new paradigm that combines teaching and live performance in one facility.

© Tom Arban

The 44,000 sqf project involved the adaptive reuse of Tank houses 9 and 10 and was delivered within a tight budget of $10.0 million. New interventions are limited yet strategically deployed for maximum impact. The solution focused on developing a clear plan order that would maximize building performance, and create a dynamic platform for performance and teaching. On the exterior an extended, horizontal wood canopy marks a generous entrance that leads into the main lobby space. The two-story high lobby is the signature space of the Young Centre, and was created by enclosing the space between the two Tank Houses with massive, neo-primitive Douglas fir timber trusses that span the historic bearing walls. The lobby differs from the traditional theatre lobby by creating an open venue accessible throughout the day (as opposed to being limited to the hours before and during performances). In this space all users of the centre converge – actors, students, visitors, and patrons. A café, box office and theatre bookstore and tall bar tables and benches encourage the use of this space for formal and informal gatherings and performances. A fireplace and a large video screen stimulates old and new modes of interactivity.

© Tom Arban

The overall design is characterized by a ‘raw warm industrial’ aesthetic to respect the historic fabric of the Gooderham and Worts site, and to realize the design within an economy of means. The raw aesthetic also resonates the ‘edge’ values of the new institution. Brick facades are left exposed, original windows are retained, and the existing cobblestone pavements are conserved. Interior finishes are utilitarian, limited to concrete floors and painted walls. Ceilings are left exposed to meet both cost and functional requirements, but effectively achieve a complex visual canopy that weaves throughout the scheme. The raw and untreated surfaces and textures are animated by natural daylight and, in the evenings, by selectively placed light sources.

© Tom Arban

Within the Young Centre multiple layers of time and architecture, history and culture, teaching and performance coexist. The architecture casts the historic fabric of the Distillery District as a striking backdrop and stage to the inherent drama generated daily by the actors, performances, and students.

elevation

Project Team: Thomas Payne, Partner-in-Charge; Christopher Couse, Senior Associate; Mark Jaffar, Project Architect; Goran Milosevic, Kevin Thomas, Anne Lok, Andrea Macaroun, Thom Seto, Krista Clark, Ramon Janer, Clementine Chang, Stephen Kopp, Andrew Sinclair, Carolyn Lee, and Virginia Dos Reis
Structural Engineer: Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.
Mechanical/Electrical Engineer: Crossey Engineering Ltd
Contractor: Dalton Engineering
Theater: Theatre Projects Consultants
Acoustics: Aercoustics Engineering Ltd.
Heritage Consultants: ERA Architects Inc.
Project Manager: PHA Project Management Inc
Signage: The Beggarstaff Sisters
Performance Sound and Video: Engineering Harmonics
Feasibility Study Stage: Vermeulens Cost Consultants, quantity surveyors

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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Young Centre for the Performing Arts / KPMB Architects" 23 Jun 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed 01 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=142776>
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