*Project led by Barry Charnish, Sean Smith, Eric Gordon, Michael Meschino, Ian Washbrook, and Mike Hillcoat while employed at a previous firm.
Royal Conservatory of Music
17,650 m² (190,000 ft²)
Structural Engineering Consultant
2010 – Governor General’s Medals in Architecture, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
2010 – Best of Show Award, Ontario Association of Architects
The TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning is a new home for the Royal Conservatory of Music (RCM). The project included the restoration of McMaster Hall, built in the 1880s, as well as the addition of a new performing arts and learning facility that integrates modern construction and materials with the existing historical building.
In addition to the renovation of the original Mazzoleni Hall, the project incorporates a 1,135-seat concert hall, 43 new teaching and practice studios, and a new 150-seat Conservatory Theatre, a rehearsal space designed to accommodate many types of functions and special events.
Hung lobby balconies, exposed composite steel, glulam trusses, a feature skylight, feature stairs and large open spaces create structural interest throughout the RCM.
Challenge: Adjacent to two separate subway lines, including traveling trains turning, a neighbouring arena and its ice generating equipment, and a heavily traveled main road just outside the RCM’s doors; vibration and noise were significant risks that would compromise the new facility’s acoustics and function.
Solution: Base isolation below the concert hall and in the rehearsal hall was achieved by supporting them on rubber isolation pads tuned to the weight of the building and designed to mitigate the transmission of ground- and structure-borne vibration. The hall achieved its targeted acoustic rating in large part due to this isolation.