TD Conference Centre
After a long history of leasing spaces outside of their facilities to hold meetings and conferences, the TD Conference Centre wished to explore more sustainable approaches to meeting their requirements for conference spaces.
Moreover, the financial institution also realized they were missing the opportunity to welcome employees to a branded environment and decided to create their own conference centre with technology that seamlessly integrates into the organisation’s network designed by Gensler.
The two-story space beneath the tower of their existing headquarters, formerly a 690-seat mid-century cinema, now consists of a large auditorium, cafeteria, kitchen, pre-function meeting areas, and up to three flexible conference rooms.
Upstairs, a marble reception counter greets guests crossing a glass bridge from the concourse area into the space. Informal pre-function meeting areas and up to four flexible conference rooms provide additional support spaces.
A number of design interventions intentionally celebrate the building’s architect Mies van der Rohe. The custom-designed reception desk pays homage to the architect’s restrained style and his meticulous attention to proportion and positioning.
The historic nature of the space is further celebrated by the preservation of two bank vaults, one of which has been transformed into a jewel box-like miniature museum with artifacts and pieces of historical record on display for guests. In contrast to the grand scale of the conference centre, the museum’s intimacy provides a moment of retreat for quiet contemplation.
Central to the brief was creating a bright and airy atmosphere to the conference centre, which doesn’t benefit from access to natural light due to the below-grade location. The design team’s approach to this challenge was to simulate natural light through the inclusion of a backlit ceiling atop a two-story space that extends the length of the facility.
The circadian-effective lighting is designed to keep guests attuned to the natural day, and promotes a healthier environment. Conference rooms located on both floors are mostly transparent, allowing more light travel throughout the space.
The two-story space, backlit ceiling combine with a double-height green wall to evoke Toronto’s natural ravine systems. This ravine system is significant to the local nature and culture as they define the city’s unique neighborhoods and provide its residents with valuable recreational opportunities.
The colour palette is purposely neutral with an injection of locally sourced materials representing Canada’s abundance of natural resources, including limestone, marble, and certified sustainable wood.
As a significant patron of Canadian artists, the organization also sought to introduce biophilic elements through an extensive art commissioning program. From video installations to photography, Canada’s majestic landscape is celebrated throughout the space.