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Toronto theater gets a facelift

Projects | August 1, 2017 | By:

The backlit panel system at the Toronto Centre for the Arts surrounds theatergoers to create a one-of-a-kind immersive experience. Photos: Tom Arban.

The Toronto Centre for the Arts needed a facelift; managers wanted to reconfigure the main theater, which was underutilized. Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects divided the 1800-seat space into two smaller spaces: a 300-seat black box theater and a 574-seat proscenium stage.

Color and drama were added to the proscenium theater in the form of an acoustical backlit panel that curved around the perimeter of the space. Custom architectural fabricator Eventscape, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was contacted to engineer, fabricate and install the more than 3,000-square-foot custom panel system. The backlit panels feature a chevron design that solves acoustic requirements and allows endless possibilities in creating programmable light shows.

To build the panel system, Eventscape engineered and designed a coordinating zigzag hanging “rail” system that controls the placement of each of the chevron enclosure assemblies, which were made of square aluminum tubing to provide rigidity. The sides were made with laser-cut and brake-formed aluminum, with a textile skin front that’s acoustically transparent to allow for consistent light diffusion. A custom neutral print color was used as the textile finish.

The backs of the assemblies were either solid or featured various percentages of patterned perforated steel in a precise thickness to satisfy the acoustic requirements but allow no light leakage. Eventscape used a two-toned powder-coat finish to allow for both light reflection to interior baffles for better sound quality and a custom color and finish for the exposed skin.

Lights incorporated into each of the assemblies are programmable every 12 inches, permitting four different colors in each enclosure at one time. For more details, visit

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