We are pleased to unveil our design proposal for the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts that will become a motivating force for the development of the community and cultural sector in Toronto. The five shortlisted teams, each of which includes an Indigenous design partner, were invited to develop a concept based on a detailed project design brief.
Alongside Mecanoo's “People, Place, Purpose, Poetry” design philosophy, the foundation of our design is rooted in the wisdom of the indigenous philosophy known as “A Dish with One Spoon”. This principle was originally an agreement among Indigenous people to share hunting territories, and today it encourages people from all backgrounds to coexist harmoniously and manage resources sustainably.
The shapes of the new volumes are inspired by the indigenous aesthetics and features a nonorthogonal language of nature that contrasts with the straight lines of the preserved brutalist façade. In this way, we preserve the essence of Brutalism, playfully integrating it with a new aesthetic language. The contrast between two creates a striking new image of STLC.
The re-imagined STLC combines accessibility and inclusivity with a strong focus on community engagement, creating a sustainable, inspiring destination that unites performers, audiences in unexpected and delightful ways. By establishing closer ties with the Indigenous creative community, and leveraging cutting-edge technology and flexible design, the STLC will become an exemplar for sustainable performing arts, creating an immersive experience that engages the senses and fosters a new dialogue with the community.
Team: Mecanoo, RDH Architects, Two Row Architect, and NAK Design Strategies.
Learn more about our design proposal and check all the five shortlisted designs here.