Brian Curtner, a founding principal of Quadrangle Architects, passed away from cancer on Aug, 15, 2015, at the age of 64. Curtner and cofounder Les Klein formed Quadrangle in 1986, and over the past 29 years, built a firm that now has a staff of 140 and a portfolio of projects throughout Toronto, across Canada and internationally. Brian was a modern renaissance man, combining expertise in design and construction with an innate business acumen fuelled by his passion for people, golf, cars, travel and art.
Curtner’s remarkable ability to build long-term professional relationships and turn them into quality friendships that spanned decades was intrinsic to his work. He approached every challenge with curiosity and a drive to excel. Balancing entrepreneurship and commitment to family and friends, Brian was instrumental in creating a highly successful architecture practice. His aesthetic vision and pragmatism helped shape Quadrangle into an award-winning practice defined by design excellence, technical expertise and client service.
As an architect, Curtner has been widely recognized for exemplary designs that include: the award-winning BMW showroom at the foot of the Don Valley Parkway that converted a vacant office building into an iconic six-storey glazed showroom; Corus Entertainment’s state-of-the-art headquarters and broadcast facilities on Toronto’s waterfront; State Street Financial Centre, which saw the renovation and reinvention of a 1950s government building into a Class A office environment; and 130 Bloor Street West in Yorkville, a condominium development built on top of an existing modernist office tower, which won an Innovation in Architecture award from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
Brian’s vision for the revitalization of the Yonge Sheppard Centre, one of Toronto’s largest mixed-use residential, office and retail developments, recently received planning approvals.
All of these projects represent Curtner’s innovative solutions to complex urban challenges. He has also spearheaded the firm’s expansion internationally, and has undertaken projects in Dubai and China.
Curtner was a graduate of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, England, was licensed to practice in eight Canadian provinces, and was elected to the College of Fellows of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Simcoe Chapter of Lambda Alpha International. He was also active in and served on the boards of numerous professional associations, including the Board of Directors of NAIOP’s Toronto Chapter. Curtner also served as president of both the Mansfield Ski Club and Toronto’s Boulevard Club. Prior to co-founding Quadrangle, he was a principal in the firm of Curtner Brown Architects.
Brian Curtner leaves his wife, Christine Raissis; children, Anna (David Ransom), Ross (Daphne Hemily), and stepchildren Stefan and Michaela Ruby; and two grandchildren, James and Isabel Ransom.