Plant Architect & Shore Tilbe Irwin wins Nathan Phillips Square Design Competition

    TORONTO, March 8 /CNW/ - The Competition Jury for the Nathan Phillips
Square Design Competition tonight announced the selection of Plant Architect
Inc. & Shore Tilbe Irwin, Toronto as the winning team in the international
design competition to revitalize the City's most important public space.
    "The Plant Architect Inc. & Shore Tilbe Irwin design best fulfills the
guiding principles and design opportunities for Nathan Phillips Square as set
out in the competition brief," said Eric Haldenby, Chair of the Competition
Jury. "The team has imaginatively re-invented elements of the Square, enhanced
the experience of the public realm and integrated exemplary new sustainable
design approaches."
    "In reaching our decision, we noted how the winning submission respects
and restores the beauty and dignity of architect Viljo Revell's vision, while
preserving and enhancing its unique heritage qualities," continued Haldenby.
    Mayor David Miller said, "The Competition Jury members faced a
challenging task in selecting a winner and I am delighted with their decision.
On behalf of all Torontonians, I would like to congratulate Plant Architect
Inc. & Shore Tilbe Irwin for their bold design. It will ensure that Nathan
Phillips Square remains a place of public pride for all Torontonians."
    "On behalf of the City of Toronto and its residents, I wish to thank the
jury for its thoughtful deliberations in reaching this milestone decision. The
three other finalists should be commended for their wonderfully creative
efforts," said Miller.
    The winning design is based on the idea that Nathan Phillips Square has
always acted as an agora, the ancient Athenian place of public and political
exchange. The theme clearly defines the inner open space of theatre and square
- a theatre for the city, where planned and unforeseen events are encouraged,
and a square surrounded by a forested perimeter.

    The winning scheme includes:

    -   a new public pavilion at the southwest corner of the Square with rink
        support facilities, a food concession, washrooms and a generous upper
        level roof terrace overlooking the Square;

    -   a two-level restaurant in the southwest portion of the Square with
        seasonal outdoor patio and terrace dining and elevator access to the
        overhead walkway and adjacent public roof terrace;

    -   a new glass pavilion at Queen and Bay Streets with a tourist
        information kiosk and elevator providing access to the overhead
        walkway and underground bicycle and car parking;

    -   a versatile new stage structure with an elegant roof canopy, wide
        stairs leading to the elevated walkways and performance support space
        connected below grade;

    -   redesigned landscaping along the edges of the Square and the west
        side by increasing the number of trees, planting mixed tree species
        and utilizing an innovative and improved soil planting medium;

    -   a wide variety of sustainable design achievements linked to Toronto's
        Green Standard such as: a soil regeneration strategy; improved tree
        planting conditions and increased biomass and number of trees;
        facilities for cyclists and promotion of cycling; improved pedestrian
        environment; controlling light pollution; energy efficient design;
        renewable energy features; opportunities for public education;
        attention to the on-site microclimate; and local sourcing of

    -   a larger and enhanced Peace Garden with a birch grove and reflecting
        pool at a new location in the western landscaped area of the Square;

    -   animating the podium roof of City Hall with a perimeter landscaped
        garden, a courtyard framing the Council Chamber and a café at the

    -   extending the paving from the Square to the newly landscaped
        Queen Street forecourt;

    -   a relocated and redesigned entry to the underground PATH system along
        Queen Street;

    -   upgrading the overhead walkways with wood decking, seating, glass
        balustrades, light wells and improved access; and

    -   a seasonal disappearing water fountain feature in the centre of the

    "Four excellent submissions were received and the creative ideas
expressed gave the jury a full range of approaches to consider," remarked
Peter Ortved, of CS&P Architects and Professional Advisor overseeing the
competition. "The design submitted by Plant Architect Inc. & Shore Tilbe Irwin
reflects a vision for Nathan Phillips Square that will take us into the future
with renewed pride in this highly regarded public place."
    The three other competition finalists were: Baird Sampson Neuert
Architects, Toronto; Rogers Marvel Architects, New York, Ken Smith Landscape
Architect, New York, du Toit Allsop Hillier, Toronto; and Zeidler Partnership
Architects, Toronto.
    Eric Haldenby, Chair of the Competition Jury, is Director of the
University of the Waterloo School of Architecture. The other five jury members
are: Dinu Bumbaru, internationally recognized heritage architect from
Montreal; David Crombie, former Mayor of Toronto and President and CEO of The
Canadian Urban Institute; Frances Halsband, architect and partner in the New
York firm of R.M. Kliment & Frances Halsband Architects; Cornelia Oberlander,
distinguished landscape architect from Vancouver; and Michael Ondaatje,
world-renowned author and resident of Toronto.
    The design competition is part of the Toronto Government's efforts to
beautify and restore its public spaces. The City has made a $16-million
financial commitment and is seeking an additional $24 million in contributions
from other levels of government, the private sector and the business community
for Nathan Phillips Square's revitalization and restoration.
    For more information about the competition, visit

    Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home
to a diverse population of more than 2.6 million people. It is the economic
engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North
America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for
quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto's government is
dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

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For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Peter Ortved, Professional
Advisor, CS&P Architects, (416) 482-5002; Sheila Glazer, Manager, Strategic
Policy & Projects, Facilities & Real Estate Division, (416) 392-0879

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