Arch-Tech Design Group is applying its approach to the International Centre in Mississauga, Ontario.
AFTER REINVIGORATING a critical entry point for the International Centre, one of the continent’s leading trade and consumer show venues and an important destination for the greater Toronto region, Arch-Tech Design Group was commissioned to renovated two tiered lobbies – infusing the same new, modern look and feel.
With inspiration from the renovations the firm completed in 2014 in the center’s Hall 1 lobby and new Connector Building – which also improved guest transfer between halls 2, 4 and 5 – Arch-Tech’s most recent project with the centre, Hall 2 and Hall 3 lobbies, will provide continuity to the facility’s new, sleeker image.
“When we first started designing the lobby, it was a very tired, dated building,” Project Designer Patricia Collins says. “The original interest was just in redesigning the exhibition hall from the lobby because the main lobby and exhibition hall were one. The project evolved from doing something quite simple to something a lot more grand – and a lot more able to define and give a presence to the International Centre and a sense that is coming into the 21st century.”
A much more contemporary design features a clean and simple neutral palette that furthers the centre’s new branding. Design elements will bring a brighter and fresher feel to welcome the 1.5 million guests who visit the venue annually.
Wavy ceiling and wall details, meant to create a lighter, breezy experience, connect design elements in all lobbies and suggest flow and function in the space, improving how guests feel and how guests and exhibitors use the spaces.
• Larger, barrier-free entrance vestibules;
• Larger lobby spaces for improved guest movement;
• Larger and brighter registration areas with improved communication functionality;
• Modern LED linear lighting to enhance the feel of the lobbies and provide a modern and professional aesthetic;
• LED monitors for wayfinding and advertising improve orientation at the facility and provide opportunities to focus
information or marketing to guests;
• New show offices including kitchenette facilities to improve the exhibitor experience;
• Larger, barrier-free universal washrooms to accommodate guests of all abilities and conforming to new building code guidelines; and
• Sustainability-aware design that reduces energy costs and uses recyclable and recycled materials.
Becoming a Partner
The Brampton, Ontario firm, which offers a broad range of services – from architectural design to interior design and creative/branding services – has worked with the center since the early 2000s, successfully completing two other major projects. When the center launched a $7 million revitalization in 2010, Arch-Tech again was a trusted partner, Principal Mark Primiani says.
“We are happy to be involved in that as their designer on three wonderful projects,” he says.
The firm also was familiar with the challenges of building in a historic space, one that once housed the military facility
where the AVRO Arrow, a delta-winged interceptor aircraft, was developed during the Cold War. Among the few privately owned convention venues in Canada, the International Centre opened in 1979 and has undergone plenty of evolutions – and additions – since to make it a sprawling facility with more than 500,000 square feet of exhibit space and about 1 million square feet of gross space.
At just under 7,000 square feet, the Hall 2/3 lobby maintains the same or similar finishes and elements where possible. A lighter version of distinctive wavy Armstrong brand suspended ceiling panels hung in Hall 1 are incorporated in the ceiling of the current lobby project. The Armstrong Infusion panels will appear to float above guests who enter the lobby. They also maintain the same feel as the
3form product that was used in the divider wall of the Hall 1 lobby, again providing continuity.
The work highlights Arch-Tech’s proficiencies in helping create inspiring environments that help shape a space’s image, Collins
“These projects at the International Centre really showcase our ability to conceptualize and create branding opportunities for clients that also helps to merge what they have existing with what is proposed so it looks cohesive,” she says. “We are providing the client with a statement piece – a branding component – to improve the overall atmosphere of the facility.”