February 1, 2012

The Small Screen Goes Big: Corus Entertainment Toronto Headquarters by Quadrangle Architects

Corus Entertainment is a major name in Canadian media. Once a modest TV and radio company, Corus became a major player in corporate acquisitions. It’s now grown to?50-plus brands, specializing in women’s and children’s programming.

Executives in Toronto saw more than back-office benefits in con­solidating most TV, radio, Web, and print holdings under one roof—but worried that the effort to create synergy risked sapping them of personality and autonomy instead. What would happen when Rosie  O’Donnell from the Oprah Winfrey Network bumps into Sponge Bob Square Pants from Nickelodeon at the water cooler? “After years in their own silos, not everyone was keen on coming together,” Quadrangle Architects prin­cipal Brian Curtner says.

His hip solution for the eight-story building’s 500,000-square-foot interior, designed for 1,100 employees, mixes equal parts established branding and zany inventiveness. The interventions start with the lobby’s huge corkscrew slide. They continue on office levels with glassed-in meeting rooms outfitted with kicky furnishings and identified by the appropriate logos. Every so?often, he applied a stroke of?color: muted orange here, egg-yolk yellow there, royal purple just for fun.

Lively accents contrast with the subtlety of the overall archi­tecture. In that regard, Curtner got an ample assist from the building, commissioned by the design-savvy City of Toronto from the masterful Diamond Schmitt Architects. The H-shape floor plates, defined by the care­fully detailed atrium, maximize views of Sugar Beach Park, a sandy new amenity on Lake Ontario.

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