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BMO Education & Conference Centre by Tillmann Ruth Robinson opens


October 8, 2015
by Elsa Lam

The reception desk and screens are integrated with the flowing interior.

The reception desk and screens are integrated with the flowing interior.

The BMO Education & Conference Centre, the final component of the Krembil Discovery Tower at Toronto Western Hospital, is now open. An integral component of the tower’s neuroscience research facilities, the Centre features five thousand square feet of new conference, education and community spaces.

Client University Healthcare Network came to architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson with a simple program in mind—one large room with the ability to divide into smaller rooms for gathering, learning, fundraising and events. Space was to be flexible, nimble and responsive, accommodating the ubiquitous technology that would contribute to an ideal environment for collaborating both on site and in the digital world.

Corian column covers and bulkheads subtly direct movement along the main corridor.

Corian column covers and bulkheads subtly direct movement along the main corridor.

Positioned at the intersection of major routes through the hospital, the BMO Education & Conference Centre is structured around a series of elegant and playful elements that animate and choreograph the movement of users. Corian was used to create simple, bold forms suggesting flow.

Working with fabricators, two dimensional Corian sheets were transformed into curving, seamless shapes and dynamic column covers subtly directing hospital traffic. Using a process of rapid prototyping, forms were developed that give lightness to the building structure. This is further reinforced by random openings towards the column bases. Each opening reveals a high polished stainless steel panel that reflects the movement of passerby.

Temporary screens divide the space during events.

Temporary screens divide the space during events.

During BMO Education & Conference Centre events, screens are positioned between columns along the centre of the wide corridor, creating a visible but separate space for food and beverage service, as well as places for informal meetings. After hours, when functions such as dinners or receptions take place, the screens can be drawn, and walls raised to transform the entire corridor into a special event space.

View from Leonard Avenue

View from Leonard Avenue

A lengthy glazed corridor makes the BMO Education & Conference Centre, which is located at grade, visible to passerby on Leonard Avenue.