On 2nd December 2011, Diamond Schmitt architect’s designs successfully came to fruition, as the city of Burlington, Ontario celebrated the opening of its new performing arts theatre. Motivating the Construction of this $40m Centre, were hopes that it would go on to become a catalyst for a renaissance of the arts in the region, and bring renewed vitality to downtown.
Housed inside this latest Canadian, cultural, landmark will be a 720-seat Main Theatre and a 260-seat Studio Theatre. Both venues open onto a large glazed City Room public lobby, intended for community receptions when the theatres are not in use. A public plaza further integrates the facility with the street, while the careful combination of materials, colour, texture, lighting and architectural form brings unique architectural expression to downtown Burlington.
“The entire building - inside and out - is activated as performance space to add a dynamic presence to the downtown neighbourhood,” said lead architect Gary McCluskie. The wood-lined Main Theatre is designed for exemplary sightlines and excellent acoustics and provides the technical infrastructure for the most demanding performances.
“Wood creates a warm and tactile setting and enhances the acoustic clarity of the room,” said Project Architect Jon Soules. Other features of the Main Theatre include a six-storey fly tower, terrazzo flooring and a dramatically cantilevered balcony that seems to float in the room over the orchestra seating.
The 62,000 sq ft Burlington Performing Arts Centre is among the very first theatres in Canada designed with an aggressive sustainable directive to reduce energy consumption and lower its environmental impact. LEED strategies include sustainable site development, remediated contaminated soils, storm water management, reduced heat-island effect and reduced light pollution.
Energy efficient design was achieved with thermal and lighting controls and monitoring, use of natural daylight, lighting fixture selection and exterior envelope design. A third party energy model indicates that the new facility will achieve a 77% reduction from the provincial energy use average and will meet the 2030 Challenge for environmental stewardship.