KPMB Architects

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KPMB Architects
KPMB Richard Hunt Spacing Grey.jpg
Practice information
Key architects Bruce Kuwabara, Thomas Payne, Marianne McKenna, Shirley Blumberg
Founded 1987
Location Toronto
Significant works and honors
Buildings TIFF Bell Lightbox, Gardiner Museum, National Ballet School of Canada, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Canadian Museum of Nature, Koerner Hall
Awards American Institute of Architects Honor Award for Architecture, Governor General's Award, RAIC National Urban Design Award, Ontario Association of Architects Award of Excellence, Toronto Urban Design Award

KPMB is a Canadian architecture firm founded by Bruce Kuwabara, Thomas Payne, Marianne McKenna, and Shirley Blumberg, in 1987. It is headquartered in Toronto, where the majority of their work is found. Aside from designing buildings, the firm also works in interior design.[1]

Firm history[edit]

KPMB Architects’ four founding partners were former associates of Barton Myers Associates, until Myers permanently relocated his practice to his Los Angeles office. The four associates stayed in Toronto and formed their own studio. Thomas Payne left the firm to start a multidisciplinary architectural studio in 2013. [2]

Early works[edit]

KPMB’s early projects were completed in association with Barton Myers, including Woodsworth College at the University of Toronto (1991) and the Art Gallery of Ontario Stage III Expansion (1992). Early on in the practice, KPMB won two major competitions: Kitchener City Hall and the Joseph S. Stauffer Library, the new central library for Queen’s University in Kingston, ON.

KPMB and Toronto[edit]

“KPMB have repeatedly stressed the importance of the city as a context for their work, both in physical but also cultural sense.”[3] Many of KPMB’s projects are found in their home town of Toronto. Early projects involved retrofits and infill projects juxtaposed with existing structures, including King James Place (1991) on Toronto’s King Street East and the Design Exchange (1994), a retrofit of Toronto’s former Stock Exchange building into an exhibition space for design.

In the 21st century KPMB completed a number of cultural facilities that contribute to what is known as the “Toronto Cultural Renaissance”:[4] Roy Thomson Hall Enhancement (2002) home of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Canada’s National Ballet School (2005) with Goldsmith Borgal Architects, the Gardiner Museum (2006), Young Centre for the Performing Arts (2006), TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning at the Royal Conservatory (2009), and the Bell Lightbox (2010) a permanent home for the Toronto International Film Festival.

Work outside of Toronto and Canada[edit]

KPMB has a diverse portfolio of work across Canada, the United States and Europe.

Canadian projects include Le Quartier Concordia at Concordia University, the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, and the LEED Platinum Headquarters Manitoba Hydro Place in Winnipeg, which some consider North America’s most complex energy-efficient buildings in one of its most challenging climates.[5]

American projects include the Walgreen Drama Center for the University of Michigan, Sprague Memorial Hall for Yale University and the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. KPMB’s current work includes projects for Princeton University, Orchestra Hall for the Minnesota Orchestra in Minneapolis and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Major projects[edit]




  • Canadian Embassy Berlin, Berlin, 2005

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Detlef Mertins, “Toronto Style,” The Architecture of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2003) p 15.
  4. ^ Lisa Rochon, “Top 10 of 2006 KPMB,” The Globe and Mail, December 19, 2006, R1.
  5. ^ Charles Linn, “Cold Comfort,” GreenSource Magazine, (New York: McGraw Hill/Architectural Record) March/April 2010,. 52-57.
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^

External links[edit]