The city of Brampton is ready to look for star architect power for the new Centre of Innovation coming to downtown Brampton, and they’ve lined up an impressive roster.

Six teams of architects featuring some of the most well-known firms in the world are on the shortlist to provide design services for the city. They were selected from 18 initial submissions.

The new building, located on George Street north of Queen where there was formerly a private surface parking lot, will host an academic library for Ryerson University, a new central public library replacing Four Corners, cultural space, student spaces, and other uses that will be determined in the future.

Four Corners Public Library is in dire need of replacement. While it has been partially renovated, the current central library cannot be easily retrofitted for full accessibility under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act. Four Corners was supposed to have been replaced during the second phase of the Southwest Quadrant Plan (the first phase built the West Tower extension of City Hall), but the plan fizzled out.

The six teams in the running to provide design expertise to the city are:

  • IBI Group Architects (Toronto) and Henning Larsen (Denmark)
  • ZAS Architects (Toronto) and Foster + Partners (London, UK)
  • Perkins+Will Architecture (Toronto) and Schmidt Hammer Lassen (Denmark)
  • Teeple Architects (Toronto) and B+H Architects (Toronto)
  • Moriyama & Teshima Architects (Toronto)
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects (Toronto)

All of these firms have worked around the world on post-secondary projects.

IBI Group Architects worked on the Quad at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Quad // Courtesy of IBI Group
University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Quad // Courtesy of IBI Group

Henning Larsen’s most recent work in the higher education sector is the Kolding Campus of the University of Southern Denmark. Henning Larsen recently won the right to rebuild Etobicoke Civic Centre.

Kolding Campus of the University of Southern Denmark // Courtesy of Henning Larsen
Kolding Campus of the University of Southern Denmark // Courtesy of Henning Larsen

Current Bramptonians attending York University would recognize ZAS Architect’s most recent work: the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence.

Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence // Courtesy of ZAS Architects
Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence // Courtesy of ZAS Architects

Foster + Partners have done work with some of the biggest universities in the world, from the London School of Economics to Yale University. A local example of their work is the Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building at the University of Toronto.

Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building at the University of Toronto // Courtesy of Foster + Partners
Leslie L. Dan Pharmacy Building at the University of Toronto // Courtesy of Foster + Partners

Perkins+Will is considered a leading architect in the higher education field. They were recently ranked “#1” by Architect Record. A Canadian example of their work is the Energy, Environment, Experiential Learning Building at the University of Calgary. Perkins+Will also recently worked on Ryerson University’s most recent addition to the Toronto campus, theDaphne Cockwell Health Science Complex.

Energy, Environment, Experiential Learning Building at the University of Calgary // Courtesy of Perkin+Will Architecture
Energy, Environment, Experiential Learning Building at the University of Calgary // Courtesy of Perkin+Will Architecture

Schmidt Hammer Lassen designs libraries all over the world, including the much celebrated new Halifax Central Library on that city’s waterfront. SHL is part of the Perkin+Will organization.

Halifax Central Library // Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen
Halifax Central Library // Courtesy of Schmidt Hammer Lassen

Teeple Architects are a Toronto-based firm, with lots of work in branch libraries and Canadian universities and colleges, including one of Canada’s best scientific institutions, the Stephen Hawking Centre at the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics.

Stephen Hawking Centre at the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics // Courtesy of Teeple Architects
Stephen Hawking Centre at the Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics // Courtesy of Teeple Architects

One of Canada’s best student centres is at the University of British Columbia’s AMS Student Nest, a warm work by Toronto-based B+H Architects.

AMS Student Nest at UBC // Courtesy of B+H Architects
AMS Student Nest at UBC // Courtesy of B+H Architects

Moriyama & Teshima Architect are known for elegant and timeless buildings. The new Canon Canada headquarters in southwest Brampton is of their design. The firm also recently won the rights to build the Arbour for George Brown College, Ontario’s first tall wood building.

Arbour at George Brown College // Courtesy of Moriyama & Teshima Architects
Arbour at George Brown College // Courtesy of Moriyama & Teshima Architects

Finally, Diamond Schmitt Architects almost exclusively works for public institutions. They’re working on the new Markham campus for York University and could also be working in Brampton. One of their more interesting buildings is the new Lazaridis Hall at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Lazaridis Hall at Wilfrid Laurier University // Courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects
Lazaridis Hall at Wilfrid Laurier University // Courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects

The final selection of the architect for the new Brampton Centre for Innovation will be selected and announced later in 2018.

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