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Daniels Spectrum (2012)

07 Mar 2016
Image Credit: Lisa Logan
Architectural Credit: Diamond Schmitt Architects
Location: Toronto, ON
Architects: Diamond Schmitt Architects
Date of completion: 2012
OAA Awards 2016 Design Excellence Finalist

Located on the eastern edge of Toronto’s downtown core, the Daniels Spectrum brings together seven arts and social enterprise groups to provide a new cultural and community hub to the Regent Park district. Part of the multi-decade revitalization scheme for the neighbourhood, Canada’s largest and among its oldest public housing developments, the Daniels Spectrum reflects Regent Park’s evolving story of re-connecting, re-activating and re-knitting. By creating a community hub and connecting people through the arts, this facility is surpassing project goals to bring transformative social and cultural change to the neighbourhood.

East elevation. Photo Credit: Lisa Logan
The building's design is inspired by the cultural richness of the community. The exterior’s vivid colour pattern is distilled from the colours of the flags of the world and identifies the facility as a space of creative endeavour. This colour play informed all aspects of the design including exterior cladding, interior signage, and visual markers that connect the interior spaces and branding for the facility. Thematically, each floor represents a different art and social real: from music, visual arts and film on the second floor to the third floor Centre for Social Innovation.

Paintbox Bistro: a social enterprise initiative, training community members in the culinary arts. Photo Credit: Lisa Logan
The seven arts and social enterprise groups chosen for the project were selected for their ability to engage with communities, encourage artistic creation, advance learning, and offer an inter-cultural experience. The new purpose-built spaces enable these groups, most with previous make-do locations, to put down roots. Extensive consultations with the tenants and community groups optimized the outcome of the building’s configuration.

As Regent Park continues to grow and evolve, the Daniels Spectrum will continue to strengthen its role as the neighbourhood’s cultural hub, bringing new visitors to the area and highlighting the community’s vibrant art scene.

To view the complete submission, including additional images and drawings, click here.

Ada Slaight Hall is a fully equipped, flexible performance/event space. Photo Credit: Lisa Logan
This post (5/20) is part of the OAA Awards 2016 Design Excellence Finalists blOAAg series celebrating the best of Ontario architecture. Every day during the month of March we will be posting a new finalist. You can view all posts by clicking here. Winners will be announced April 1, 2016.  

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