This project renovated all of the production spaces in the existing Festival Theatre as well as adding 48,000 sq. ft. of new production and administration space. The challenge was to provide a facility of this size, while maintaining the existing scale and ambience of this popular venue and its historic setting. A conventional two-storey structure would have blocked the views from the main theatre lobby and terrace. It was therefore decided to develop a scheme which placed most of the accommodation below ground, so that the landscaping could be replaced and the Theatre Lobby prospect preserved. The lower level environment was enhanced by the introduction of natural light into this level, with generous skylights and a sunken garden on the south side. The reconstruction of the original entrance area to include a basement made it possible to connect the lower level of the addition to the existing backstage and stage level.
This project received an Ontario Association of Architects Award of Excellence.