Etobicoke Civic Centre Design Competition
Diamond Schmitt participated in the design competition for Etobicoke’s new civic centre. Our design embodies the values of community and civic-ness, while cultivating respect between the diversity of the city’s many populations, through the careful choreography of diverse public spaces.
In response to the heavily trafficked thoroughfares of Kipling, Bloor and Dundas, the plaza strikes a balance between enclosure and openness, establishing a strong sense of place. A series of tiered landscaped spaces traverse the site, creating a protective microclimate around a central urban oasis: the Green. The exterior public spaces extend inside, to an interconnected series of interior public spaces connecting the various programs and services together, increasing opportunities for citizens to cross paths, interact and engage. The major civic and community components of the Centre form a low-rise base below the floors of the office tower. They can be approached from three corners of the site, enabling convenient circulation throughout. Amphitheatre stairs and ramps lead up to terraces on the roof of the base where a Sculpture Walk and a small ice rink draw the public in all seasons. It is a building designed to inspire ownership for Etobicoke’s citizens. It is a place where the mixing energies of varying activity – civic, recreational, institutional, cultural, commercial – overlaps and fosters interaction, dialogue and community-building.