WATERLOO, CANADA, Nov 20, 2008 (MARKET WIRE via COMTEX) -- The Balsillie School of International Affairs continues to move forward with the selection of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB) of Toronto as the firm to design its new home. The project will be directed by Bruce Kuwabara, design partner, and Shirley Blumberg, partner-in-charge.
Internationally recognized for its design excellence, KPMB is the recipient of 10 Governor General's Awards, Canada's highest architectural honor. The firm has developed a broad portfolio encompassing academic, civic, corporate, cultural, mixed-use, hospitality and residential projects located across North America and Europe.
"This is an important milestone," says Jim Balsillie, founder of the school and co-CEO of Research In Motion. "The school will be the focal point of collaborative interaction between the two local universities - Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo - and the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), creating one dynamic cluster."
The new school, a 65,000 square foot project, is strategically sited adjacent to CIGI and on the only site in Canada bounded by three Governor General Award-winning buildings - the Seagram Museum (current home of CIGI), the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery. The new Balsillie School, with its state of the art teaching spaces and public auditorium, will be a significant addition to this exceptional institutional precinct in Uptown Waterloo.
"KPMB's design will aspire to make the new Balsillie School the fourth Governor General's Award-winning project in Waterloo," says Ms. Blumberg. "Having worked on the original Seagram Museum, it is particularly inspiring to be back reinventing the site as a vibrant campus for the study of international affairs."
Mr. Kuwabara says, "It is incredibly exciting to be selected by the Balsillie School of International Affairs to design an interactive architectural platform for teaching and research that reinforces Canada's role in contributing solutions to world governance challenges."
Dr. Ramesh Thakur was recently appointed the school's first director. The school is currently assembling a critical mass of internationally renowned experts to understand, explain and shape the ideas that will create more effective global governance. The Balsillie School was launched in 2007 with a $100 million donation from Mr. Balsillie and key partners. The gift is the largest single donation to the field of social sciences in Canada.
Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB)
KPMB is one of Canada's most respected architectural practices recognized for design excellence. The firm is the recipient of 10 Governor General's medals, and has developed a broad portfolio encompassing academic, civic, corporate, cultural, mixed-use, hospitality and residential projects located across North America as well as in Europe. In 2005, KPMB was selected Firm of the Year by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and in 2006 Bruce Kuwabara became the recipient of the RAIC Gold Medal, Canada's highest honour bestowed on an individual architect. KPMB's projects in the Kitchener-Waterloo region include the Kitchener City Hall which received a Governor General's Award in 1993. KPMB has been internationally lauded for its institutional work, which includes numerous designs for academic clients. These include Canada's National Ballet School (NBS) (2008 Governor General's Award, 2007 American Institute of Architects Honour Award, and one of five recipients of the 2008 Urban Land Institute Global Design Awards), and the James Stewart Centre for Mathematics at McMaster University (2004 Governor General's Award and 2005 American Institute of Architects Award of Honour). Both NBS and James Stewart Centre were realized under the design leadership of Bruce Kuwabara with Shirley Blumberg as partner-in-charge.
The Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA) is an independent academic institution devoted to the study of international affairs and global governance. The school will assemble a critical mass of extraordinary experts to understand, explain and shape the ideas that will create effective global governance. Through its graduate programs, the school will cultivate an interdisciplinary learning environment that develops knowledge of international issues from the core disciplines of political science, economics, history, and environmental studies and other related disciplines. The Balsillie School was founded in 2007 by Jim Balsillie, co-CEO of RIM (Research In Motion), and is a collaborative partnership between CIGI, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo. For more information about BSIA please go to www.balsillieschool.ca