February 11, 2009
by Canadian Architect
George Brown College has announced the selection of Stantec Architecture/Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects as the lead design consultants for its new waterfront campus at the centre of Toronto’s East Bayfront redevelopment.
The firms, working in joint venture, will lead the college through the functional planning and design process, assist with the review of the construction request for proposals, and manage the site-plan approval process with the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto. Award-winning architect Bruce Kuwabara will be the lead design principal behind George Brown College’s new Health Sciences building and its adjacent residence and fitness/recreation complex.
“As we begin the largest and most exciting expansion in George Brown College’s history, we are very pleased to have the expertise and guidance of Stantec/KPMB on our side,” said Anne Sado, president of George Brown College. “Together we are committed to delivering a campus that will be a vital learning institution for future generations of students and a landmark for which all Torontonians are proud.”
The addition of a waterfront campus to its existing St. James and Casa Loma campuses will increase George Brown’s overall footprint in the city by 40 percent and support growth of up to 4,000 new students per year. This growth will begin to address the forecast shortage of more than 40,000 post-secondary education spaces in the GTA over the next two decades.
George Brown College has worked with Stantec/KPMB Architects in the past, collaborating on the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, home of the college’s School of Theatre Arts in the city’s Distillery District.
Stantec/KPMB are also known for many of the city’s most notable infrastructure projects, including their respective firms’ involvement wiht such projects as the new Bridgepoing Health centre, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), 51 Division Police Station and the Bell Lightbox. They also haev extensive experience with post-secondary educational institutions, having designed several other post-secondary institutions across Canada.
“We are excited by this opportunity to expand George Brown College’s brand identity and vision with a vibrant design that sets high standards for health sciences education, sustainability, architectural excellence and community building – fully integrated with the East Bayfront, one of Waterfront Toronto’s emerging live/work, learn/play precincts,” said project design principal Bruce Kuwabara. “The George Brown Lakefront Development Campus project is as much about the creation of state-of-the-art educational facilities as it is about visionary city-building.”
“We are thrilled to be selected,” said Michael Moxam, Partner, Stantec Architecture. “Our strategic alliance of Stantec Architecture and KPMB will forge a synergistic team with George Brown to create a facility that is at the leading edge of interprofessional education.”
With the planning and design team now in place, George Brown College’s Centre for Health Sciences will begin working closely with Stantec/KPMB to design a new building to help the college maintain its leadership in the delivery of interprofessional health sciences education and training, the primary focus of the campus.
The new George Brown site will sit lakeside on two blocks of land just south of its St. James campus, on Queen’s Quay between Lower Sherbourne and Lower Jarvis Streets. The two-building campus will face a park at the foot of Sherbourne Street to the east — currently slated for completion in 2010 — and the new Corus Entertainment building near Jarvis Street to the west.
In December, George Brown College received approval from Toronto City Council, the o
wner of the land at the waterfront, granting the College a 100-year lease on the proposed site. The College has also discussed with the City to partner in the fitness and recreation complex, where the City would build and operate an Aquatic Centre as part of the overall development.
With nine out of 10 graduates getting jobs within six months of graduation, Toronto’s George Brown College has established a reputation for equipping students with the skills, industry experience and credentials to pursue the careers of their choice. From its three main campuses located across the downtown core, George Brown offers more than 150 programs across a wide variety of professions. Students can earn diplomas, postgraduate certificates, industry accreditations, apprenticeships and four-year bachelor degrees. More than 20,000 students attend the College (full-time equivalent) with about 65,000 registered with the George Brown College School of Continuing Education. For more information, please visit www.georgebrown.ca.