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Adjaye among finalists for 5.6ha Toronto civic hub

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Adjaye Associates has been shortlisted in an international competition for a new 5.6 hectare civic complex in Etobicoke, Toronto

The London and New York-based firm – whose founder David Adjaye received a knighthood last month – is part of a team led by local practice Montgomery Sisam Architects chosen for the contest’s final round.

Henning Larsen Architects of Copenhagen, New York’s Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Rotterdam-based West 8 are also shortlisted in the invited contest organised by municipal development corporation Build Toronto.

Build Toronto chair David Shiner said: ‘This is the beginning of an exciting project to design an entirely new community with a civic centre and public space, that will also allow us to streamline the six points intersection and make this the heart of Etobicoke.

‘As stewards of public land, Build Toronto and the City are driving the focus on City-Building by exploring creative and innovative design ideas and bringing them to the forefront of this transformation.’

The project will deliver a new ‘civic landmark’ for the inner-city Etobicoke district on the site of Toronto’s former Westwood Theatre (pictured) which was demolished three years ago.

The prominent plot – located immediately next to the city’s busy six points intersection – will feature a new civic square, civic offices, a library, daycare centre and a recreation facility.

An estimated £46 million package of infrastructure improvements will also see roads in the area upgraded to support the civic complex project.

Local Councillor and Build Toronto director Justin Di Ciano said: ‘Through the international design competition, industry jury selection and public input, we are all helping to shape the new Etobicoke Civic Centre – which is exactly what civic centres represent.

‘This will not only become the new heart of Etobicoke, but it will also create a renewed area of activity, commerce and civic space for the local community and the city.’

A team featuring David Adjaye and Ron Arad was named on a six-strong shortlist to design Canada’s new National Holocaust Monument in central Ottawa three years ago. The contest was eventually won by Daniel Libeskind.

Last year, Adjaye Associates won a competition to design Latvia’s first Museum of Contemporary Art and landed a job to masterplan the overhaul of San Francisco’s Shipyard. The studio is also shortlisted for the UK’s National Holocaust Memorial.

Teams shortlisted for the Etobicoke Civic Centre have until late April to submit their designs for a public exhibition and adjudication. A Winner is expected to be announced this summer.

The full shortlist

  • Adamson Associates Architects, Henning Larsen Architects, PMA Landscape Architects
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
  • KPMB Architects, West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture
  • Montgomery Sisam Architects, Adjaye Associates, OLIN
  • Moriyama and Teshima Architects, MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, FORREC
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