Coptic Christian Village for Markham, Ontario

Out of 64 entries submitted to a request for proposals from architects for the design of a community development of housing, a place of worship, school, daycare, 50 housing units for the independent elderly and condominiums, a jury of architects and orthodox priests has selected two designs. A consortium will be formed between Toronto’s Robert Levit and David Olson and Boston’s David Choi of CDP/TWC, in order to draw up a more detailed site plan with the consultation of church members. The village will sit on a 12-acre site at Markham’s Steeles Avenue East, near Warden Avenue. Modern technologies will meet Middle Eastern architectural typologies in the set of buildings, which Choi’s design envisions as “The 13 fonts of Markham,” which are 13 pools surrounding a cathedral and symbolically referring to the 13 months of the Coptic calendar. Walkways punctuating the pools of water will offer visitors a respite from warm weather with cool bodies of water in their midst, while in winter experiencing the rising of mist. Levit and Olson have designed a raised plaza for the cathedral and institutional buildings set around public plazas. Residential units are lined up along an adjacent leafy boulevard.
Residential units, while mainly to be occupied by members of the congregation, will also be available to the wider community thus providing the village with a source of revenue.