Artscape is one of Canada’s leading practitioners in multi-tenant space development for the arts and culture sector. In 2010, Artscape commissioned aA to develop a preliminary design for the CCSE, a new creative and cultural hub in the Liberty Village warehouse precinct west of downtown Toronto. The resulting scheme combines a four-storey podium that continues the height datum established by the adjacent City of Toronto archive building and nearby vestigial warehouse buildings.
The podium is programmed with double-height retail space at grade, and two floors of commercial office space. Above, two single-loaded slabs are programmed with light-filled studio units that occupy the full width of each floor. Catwalks link the two slabs and look down on the podium’s planted rooftop terrace, referencing the gantry ways in warehouses throughout the neighbourhood.