* Project led by Barry Charnish and Ian Washbrook while employed at a previous firm.
KPMB; GBCA joint venture
National Ballet School of Canada
16,723 m² (180,000 ft²)
Structural Engineering Consultant
2010 – Design Excellence Award, Ontario Association of Architects
2009 – Education Facilities Design Award, American Institute of Architects/Committee for Architecture and Education
2009 – Award of Merit, Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals
2008 – International Architecture Award, the Chicago Athenaeum
2008 – Governor General’s Medals, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
2008 – Global Award for Excellence, Urban Land Institute
2008 – National Urban Design Award, Royal Architecture Institute of Canada
2007 – Award of Excellence, Toronto Urban Design
2007 – Honours Award for Architecture, American Institute of Architects
2006 – Award of Excellence, Ontario Association of Architects
2006 – Best in Show, Pugly Awards
Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS), a highly decorated ballet school and residence, now inhabits one of Toronto’s best examples of urban design. The 180,000 ft2 Celia Franca Centre houses 12 international standard two-storey dance studios (three medium-sized, eight large and one extra-large), a cafeteria, a town hall and underground parking.
The project revitalized a section of Jarvis St., a street endowed with historical buildings, two of which connect to the main dance studio: the Havergal Ladies College and Northfield House, originally built for Ontario’s longest serving premier, Sir Oliver Mowat.
To allow for natural light to enter the ground floor cafeteria, a large load-bearing and lateral resisting concrete shear wall was cut back approximately 30 ft along its length to allow for a column-free full-length glazing wall. The wall above the ground floor picks up the superstructure floor framing above by cantilevering out within the wall plane by 30 feet.
Challenge: This long-span structure must prevent floor vibrations caused by the rhythmic activities inherent in dance practices.
Solution: Several structural framing elements prevent floor vibrations. For instance, 15-m long architecturally exposed deflection-controlled beams span across the studios and provide enough mass to the structure to prevent floor vibrations. Exposed circular columns also contribute mass and large mechanical beam openings allow for conditioning of the space.