Design Thinking: Commerce Court is an urban space formed by the historic 1930 Bank of Commerce Tower and three buildings designed by I.M.Pei which lacked urban life due to strong winds, lack of sunlight and no facilities to attract pedestrians. The Renewal project transforms this space into an active year-round urban plaza and ameliorates the negative conditions with a coherent vocabulary that neither interferes with the existing composition or repeats existing details. The Renewal involved reorienting the concourse to follow the natural pedestrian flow, redesigning the entrances to be open 24-hours and creating orientation nodes to visually connect the underground and aboveground systems.
Key Features: The exterior court was renovated with new restaurants, dining terraces and equipped with canopies to make the area more active and user-friendly. Interior work included the renovation of the flagship branch of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce. The lower, public concourse level was revitalized with retail shops and food outlets, with connections to the subway system and banking hall. Our team continues to work with Commerce Court on a variety of projects including the restoration of multiple office floors back-to-base building condition, and renovating the food court and concourse washrooms.
Completed as Predecessor Firm: Zeidler Roberts Partnership Architects
Client: CIBC Development Corporation
Size: 500,000 sq.ft. (46,400 sq.m.)
• Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Toronto – Office Building of the Year Award, Rehabilitation/Modernized Building, 1995
• Ontario Association of Architects – Award of Merit, 1995
• Canadian Institute of Steel Construction – Ontario Steel Design Award, For Glazed Links, Green House, Canopy and Skylight, 1994