From dreams to reality

Thursday 25 Feb 2010

'Final jewel in the crown' of Toronto’s cultural Renaissance

The Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM) TELUS Centre realizes a 20 year dream to create a state-of-the-art Performance and Learning Centre. The project evolved out of two master plan visions, and involved the phased restoration of two historic buildings and the addition of a teaching/performance centre with a 1,135 seat concert hall. Completed in September 2009, the project has been described as the final jewel in the crown of Toronto’s Cultural Renaissance.

The new addition acts as a backdrop to the historic buildings on Bloor. The glass pavilion sits on a solid masonry base and is set apart from the historic buildings. The space between old and new was covered to create a skylit pedestrian route through the site, and to enrich the experience of the polychromatic masonry walls of the historic buildings. Within the glass pavilion, three storeys of lobbies wrap the new 1,135 seat concert hall, Koerner Hall.

The design of Koerner Hall reflects a highly integrated collaboration between architect and acousticians to provide the RCM with a highly flexible, acoustically superior environment for classical, jazz, world, semi-staged opera, lectures and films. It features a floating veil of twisting oak strings and sinuous curved balconies that wrap the hall to create an intimate acoustical experience with optimal sightlines. The stage is proportioned to accommodate a range of performance groups, students to maestros.

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