PLANT joined DS+R as a short -listed team for the competition for the new Centre for Discovery and Innovation at the Stratford Festival – a new building and community landscape replacing the existing Patterson Theatre. The competition was for a new 600-seat theatre and associated education, retail and public spaces, and a 3 acre municipal park with 150 parking spaces.
Rather than consolidating the parking in a lot, the parking was stretched out along modified street edges to ensure the maximum amount of park landscape as a seamless extension of the building – an open wood structure harking back to the original Stratford Theatre tent.
The landscape acts both as an associated landscape for the building functions, and a community park structured as a series of mound-ripples emanating from the water and separating the distinct functions and landscape characters: Education Terrace, Terraced Gardens/outdoor rehearsal space, Outdoor Forum – an extension of the indoor open and casual performance space and skating area in winter, Entry Court – a grand terrace to the river, Café Terrace and Lakeside Meadows. The main walk with its long benches facing the River meanders down the hill between these areas providing a rich and various public garden experience with large specimen trees, and intensely planted dry-to-wet meadow areas as it descends to the flood plain at the north.