Design Thinking: Originally built in 1971, this suburban mall lost its visual prominence when the adjacent highway interchange was elevated. Our goal was to regain the centre’s visibility with a new addition including retail space, a department store, and food court. Placing the food court on the roof level of the one-storey centre and covering it with a unique translucent fabric tent created a dramatic form. The new roof acts as a beacon visible to passing traffic, especially when illuminated at night. Inside, the roof transforms the inner space, bringing a light, open atmosphere into the building, as well as a sense of orientation. The lower columns supporting the tent poles appear like rows of royal palms and enhance the feeling of a tranquil garden, thus echoing the name of the centre.
Key Features: The fabric roof is the first of its kind over a retail building in Canada. The exterior shell consists of Teflon-coated fibreglass and an inner liner of translucent vinyl-coated polyester that provides a vapour barrier and improved thermal comfort. Warm air circulates between the inner and outer fabrics to prevent condensation. The roof covers a 110 by 240-foot area and is supported by three pairs of 75-foot high masts pinned to the tops of rigid columns. A 40-foot long glass skylight crowns each pair.
Completed as Predecessor Firm: Zeidler Roberts Partnership Architects
Client: General Growth Properties
Size: 177,000 sq.ft. (16,000 sq.m)
• City of Etobicoke – City of Etobicoke Urban Design Awards, Honourable Mention, 1992
• Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards – Award of Merit, 1990
• Sign Association of Canada – Best Free Standing Neon Display, Gourmet Fair, 1989