Construction has started on a performing arts centre and an arts school, designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.
After completion, the $60m, 90,000ft² performing arts centre will feature four performance venues for music, theatre, dance and film.
The centre will also feature a concert hall with 775 seats, a 160-seat theatre, a 300-seat recital hall and a film theatre with seating capacity for 200 people.
Diamond Schmitt Architects principal Gary McCluskie said, "The multiple public faces of the centre will integrate with the character of St. Paul Street and provide a focus for activities and community life."
Brock University bought a manufacturing facility adjacent to the performing arts centre site to build its Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts from a suburban campus.
The project will renovate the Canada Hair Cloth building and add 35,000ft² of space.
Upon completion, the project will feature classrooms, teaching studios, staff offices and a 280-seat studio theatre.
The restoration and redevelopment of the five-storey factory will bring the loft spaces back to use for 500 students of music, visual and performing arts.
Diamond Schmitt Architects principal Michael Leckman said the design response is inspired by the heritage structures and river valley setting.
The architectural firm said the area between the two projects consists of the mill ‘raceway’ that brought water from the Welland Canal to the factory.
Leckman said, "Landscaping will enliven this communal space, further connecting both facilities and enhance the renewal of downtown St Catharines into a vital city centre and focal point for the arts in the Niagara region."
Image: The performing arts centre will feature a concert hall and four performance venues. Photo: Courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects.