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Quadrangle

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Quadrangle Architects can be summed up in two words: inspiration realized. Their creative vision as architects is always grounded in practical realities. Since founding the firm in 1986, they have consciously built a diverse and wide-ranging portfolio. They’ve never focused exclusively on a particular sector. Instead, they focus on a particular kind of client: visionary and idea-driven, yet anchored by pragmatism.

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Every project they undertake is guided by a set of beliefs that, appropriately, has four sides. First, they believe that architecture is about solving real-world problems; the spaces they create are shaped by business insights. At the same time, each project must be part of a larger strategy; what they really build are relationships (and many go back decades). Third, they believe in thoughtful design that solves complex challenges while respecting budgets and deadlines. And lastly, everyone in their firm is passionately committed to innovative thinking and advancing the evolution of design. Of course, where they prefer to state their beliefs is through their work.

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Pinewood Studios

Toronto, Ontario

The challenge: Design a leading-edge film and television production facility, as well as the master plan for a creative innovation district, in Toronto’s revitalized Port Lands.

In 2004, Quadrangle partnered with long-time client Toronto Film Studios on a proposal to create FILMPORT, a complex with the calibre of facilities required for blockbuster films. The lakeshore site would be highly accessible, with outward-facing buildings housing offices, restaurants and a hotel. Within, a matrix of streets, lanes and squares would create “urban rooms” for filming. The completed Phase 1 studio lot (now Pinewood Studios Toronto) boasts the world’s largest purpose-built sound stage, enclosing 4,275 square metres of column-free space in a massive structure with a barrel-vaulted roof that has become an icon conveying Toronto’s production strength to the world. A total of seven sound stages, all with soundproofed concrete walls and truss grids for lighting and effects, are augmented by 10,000 square metres of painting, carpentry, wardrobe and production spaces. The multi-phase FILMPORT development is envisioned as a convergence district for creative industries – and a cultural destination in its own right.

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