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"The Invention of Waterloo"

Don Gilmour
January 2012 | The Walrus

In this feature article by Don Gilmour on the evolution of Waterloo into Canada’s Technology Centre, KPMB’s role in Waterloo’s physical renaissance is discussed along with several projects designed by the firm:

“One of the principal firms involved in Waterloo’s physical renaissance is Toronto’s Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects. Its relationship with the region began in 1989 when Bruce Kuwabara designed Kitchener City Hall, with a welcoming public square and a skating rink to provide an anchor on a street that was losing ground. The firm also did the Grand Valley women’s prison outside Kitchener, an innovative and controversial experiment in changing behaviour through environment. The massive, 26,000-square-metre Quantum-Nano Centre, which will house the Institute for Quantum Computing, was designed by Marianne McKenna and Mitchell Hall of KPMB and is set to open in 2012.

Kuwabara and his partner Shirley Blumberg are now doing the Balsillie Campus, which is clustered around the old Seagram’s building downtown. “Every building implies a city,” Kuwabara says from the open boardroom of his Toronto offices. “If you put in big boxes, you imply suburban. But now the urban is being restored.”

Today the world is about connectivity and sustainability, and KPMB designed the buildings to promote those qualities, connecting among different disciplines as well as between school and city.

Read the full article here: