Birkhuser launches new KPMB Architects monograph

Produced by Birkhäuser, a leading European publisher of architecture and design books, this is their second monograph on Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB) since 2004. The book begins with highlights from Toronto’s Cultural Renaissance, including the TIFF Bell Lightbox and the Royal Conservatory of Music, and concludes with a preview into the next wave of Toronto’s urban growth with the Pan/Parapan Athletes’ Village for the 2015 American Games.

KPMB Architects is one of Canada’s foremost architectural practices today. Their architectural excellence and innovation has been recognized with 12 Governor General Medals in Architecture. The book, organized into four categories – culture and memory, campus and community, vertical neighbourhoods and integrated design – focuses on how the studio uses architecture to shape vibrant communities and cities, while exploring their core philosophy of architecture as a collaborative art form.

The documented projects range from recently completed work such as the CIGI Campus in Waterloo and an expansion to the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, to those still in development such as the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan and Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis which recently opened to the public. Paradigm-shifting integrated designs such as Manitoba Hydro Place and the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario demonstrate the firm’s leadership role in advancing sustainable and contextually sensitive urbanism.

The text features a foreword by the Director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Mirko Zardini, which contextualizes KPMB’s work in a transitional moment between the role that architecture has played in shaping the national identity to the role it must play in defining “daily life in Canada – and elsewhere.” It also includes “Building Cities, Making Friends,” a lyrical award-winning essay by philosopher Mark Kingwell, “Maturity: A Commentary,” a text by architect and theorist George Baird, and “Opposable Minds,” an analysis by Thomas Fisher.

The 280-page hardcover book designed by Anita Matusevics of Wonder Inc. and typeset by Richard Hunt of Archetype, contains 191 colour illustrations, 39 black-and-white illustrations and 57 drawings.