By 2009, the independent, nonpartisan Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) was well on its way to fulfilling its vision to be the world's leading think tank on the global economy, global security, the environment and energy, and global development. Founded in 2001 by Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaridis, cofounders of the Waterloo, Ontario'based wireless-technology firm Research in Motion (now BlackBerry), and strategically located in the province's Technology Triangle, CIGI had experienced rapid growth in its research programs, and had recently partnered with the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University to launch the Balsillie School of International Affairs.
In an ambitious next step, CIGI hired KPMB Architects of Toronto to convert the city of Waterloo's former Seagram distillery site into a collaborative urban campus'a vibrant hub for research, education, and innovative thinking. Shirley Blumberg, founding partner of KPMB, says, 'The client had very high ambitions for this as an academic center for excellence and a highly sustainable building that would stand for 100 years or more.'
KPMB designed a three-story, 115,000-square- foot building'a contemporary reinterpretation of a traditional academic quad based on the Oxford model, integrating student workspaces, faculty offices, administrative offices, public spaces, a 250-seat auditorium/lecture hall, a bell tower, and a caf'. The building's solid masonry elevations, which honor the surrounding 19th-century industrial buildings, contrast with glass pavilions and expansive public spaces. It is both a quiet academic sanctuary and a site for social and intellectual interaction'a design that has catapulted the center to new levels of growth.
Since its completion, the campus has attracted more than 40 experts in international affairs, such as the journalist and vice chair of the United Nations' Global Commission on HIV and the Law, Shereen El Feki. In January 2011, CIGI announced $25 million in funding for a five-year partnership with the Institute for New Economic Thinking, a New York'based think tank founded by George Soros to explore innovations in economics.
Within six months of completion, the campus was one of 12 projects selected for the Royal Institute of British Architects International Award. The design has fast-tracked CIGI's standing as an increasingly respected think tank in global affairs.
322 King Street West, Third Floor
Toronto, Ontario, M5V 1J2
Size: 115,000 square feet
Total construction cost: withheld
Completion Date: 2011
Owner: Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Interior designer: KPMB Architects
General contractor: Cooper Construction
Maris Mezulis, Toronto
CAD system, project management, or other software used: Revit for the tender set, and Autolist during construction administration.
Exterior cladding: Limestone
Metal doors: Trillium
Wood doors: custom
Special doors: Skyfold Partitions
Exit devices: various
Security devices: various
Other special hardware: various
Suspension grid: Decoustic Claro
Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore
Solid surfacing: Granitecor- Peribonka Granite
Special surfacing: Diamond decking - Ipe
Floor and wall tile: Stone Tile International – Washroom Tiles
Special interior finishes unique to this project: Moncer – Acacia wood in the Auditorium
Reception furniture: various
Fixed seating: Irwin Seating Company
Chairs: Emco Navy Chair by Klaus (inside public spaces)
Other furniture: Fermob – outdoor seating & Tables chairs by Kiosk
Dimming System or other lighting controls: Lutron
Other unique products that contribute to sustainability: