The selection was announced following a review by the City and the Fredericton Playhouse of 20 submissions from architectural firms from across North America, and a shortlist of three finalists.
“We wanted someone who understood performing arts centres and best practice in arts centres,” said Kenneth Forrest, director of growth and community services with the City of Fredericton. “Diamond Schmitt has a lot of expertise building performing arts centres across the country and around the world, but also familiarity with the downtown context.”
Diamond Schmitt will be engaged by the city to develop a detailed design to assist with discussions with other levels of government for funding for the project.
The new Performing Arts Centre will be constructed on the site of the current Playhouse (theatre) and connected with the adjacent Fredericton Convention Centre. The existing Playhouse holds a special place for residents of Fredericton, seeing one in five people regularly visiting for performances. A larger, modern building will encourage even more newcomers to visit and allow for a variety of year-round events. Diamond Schmitt’s early concept design explores the centre as not only a formal place for events but also an informal space for gathering at all times of day, acting as a living room for the city.
“We are excited to continue our work to date for this prominent site in Fredericton’s Capital District and to realize the evolution of a building, which will energize the community’s sense of cultural pride for generations to come,” said Gary McCluskie, principal at Diamond Schmitt.