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Diamond Schmitt Architects receives two awards of merit from CODAworx


September 1, 2015
by Canadian Architect

ryerson image centre. photo by tom arban.

ryerson image centre. photo by tom arban.

Diamond Schmitt Architects has received two awards of merit from CODAworx, a global platform to showcase design projects that feature commissioned artwork in interior, architectural and public spaces. The winning projects are the Ryerson Image Centre in the Education category, and Public Health Ontario’s Laboratory in the Institutional category. Both projects are located in Toronto.

“Our mission for the awards is to celebrate projects that demonstrate the most successful integration of commissioned art into interior, architectural and public spaces,” said CODAworx co-founder Toni Sikes. The Ryerson Image Centre conducts research and curates public exhibitions about photographic arts. “The design for the facility took inspiration from the source of all photographic arts—namely, light—as a theme to embed in the renovated and expanded building,” said Donald Schmitt, Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects.

ryerson image centre. photo by tom arban.

ryerson image centre. photo by tom arban.


A double-skin glass façade encircles all four sides of the upper floor and conceals an LED lighting system. At night, a dynamic display of multicoloured lights glows in separate panels or in unison, transforming the building into a work of art as a programmable and interactive light installation.

To view a one-minute demonstration of the LED installation and interactive app, please visit https://vimeo.com/110378290.

Made Visible is a multi-storey wall installation located within the new headquarters for Public Health Ontario. Comprised of almost 8,000 stainless steel rods and tubes, the installation is an abstraction of the SARS virus as seen across four microscopic scales magnified to monumental size. It is intended to reveal itself gradually as occupants move through the space, alluding to the mission and daily work of the institution, piquing curiosity and encouraging social interaction and personal reflection.

made visible installation. photo by lisa logan.

made visible installation. photo by lisa logan.


“The installation was conceived as integral to the architecture of the project,” said Peggy Theodore, Associate at Diamond Schmitt Architects. “We saw the potential of the continuous wall adjacent to the central stair connecting all four floors to animate and reinforce the coherence of the space.”
detail of made visible installation. photo by lisa logan.

detail of made visible installation. photo by lisa logan.


A working group including the architects and client representatives met over a year to develop and refine the installation. The group was intrigued by the transformational potential of scaling tiny microbiological organisms, visible only as a consequence of recent advances in microscopy, to a monumental architectural surface. The SARS virus was chosen as it was in response to this outbreak in 2003 that Public Health Ontario was established.



Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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