*Project led by Barry Charnish, David Stevenson, David Thompson and Ian Washbrook while employed at a previous firm.
Diamond + Schmitt Architects
Canadian Opera Company
15,000 m² (161,459 ft²)
Structural Engineering, Building Envelope and Structural Glass Engineering Consultant
2007, Design in Glass Award - Commercial category, Glass Association of North America
2007, Project Achievement Award, Large Project category, Best of the Best Design Excellence Awards, Toronto Construction Association
2007, Ontario Association of Architects OAA Awards
The Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts is home to the Canadian Opera Company and the National Ballet of Canada. In addition to the 2,071-seat theatre, the Centre features a street-related City Room along University Avenue. From the City Room’s double lift glass stair and through the structural glass façade, audience members can walk up to the theatre’s upper-levels of seating while looking out to traffic passing by on University Avenue. The glass stair is a complete glass structure. The large plate glass balustrade includes two virtually invisible tension splices that allow for three sections of glass to perform as one continuous structural member, spanning from the floor to the intermediate landing and suspended by four stainless steel rods. The sloping/curving wall of the City Room supports the theatre seating “bowl” structure. Four cantilevered balconies are framed from the back wall using a “warped” plate slab to preserve sightlines.
Challenge: The Centre was designed to achieve an N1 acoustic rating, a special challenge given its location atop lower-level parking and adjacent to both the Queen Street streetcar and the University leg of Toronto’s Yonge-University-Spadina subway line.
Solution: To achieve the N1 acoustic rating, large rubber isolating pads designed to resist gravity and lateral forces support the entire house area. An acoustic joint separates the parking garage and the building.