Selected from a short-listed group of international architects, Lett Architects and Salter Pilon Architecture were awarded the new community theatre in Barrie’s downtown in the Fall of 2009. The original intent of the project was to renovate a bank into a small studio theatre with appropriate support space. However, it was quickly found that the original building was not structurally sound and the project developed into a completely new intimate performing arts centre.
The intent of the design is to create a flexible auditorium that is more robust then just a simple black-box. The design allows for end-stage, thrust-stage and centre-stage configurations. Acoustically, the height of the building allows for various performance types with acoustic banners that tune the hall based on the performance type.
The building is also designed to address the most important corner of Barrie’s downtown by visually opening the lobby to the streets. The intent is to create a very simple and contemporary building that respects the vernacular of the city centre.