Stratus Centre

Newmarket, Ontario

Our primary objective for the Stratus Centre in Newmarket was to design a contemporary landmark building that offers a healthy and productive workplace environment while maximizing occupant comfort. Sited along a regional corridor, the project comprises a dynamic five-storey curtain-wall structure including four floors of office space above ground-floor retail functions, along with an attached four-storey precast concrete parking structure. Both components are unified by a consistent material palette of perforated metal cladding.

While the building establishes a strong urban presence on the street, it also responds to the adjacent winding Holland River to the west by a subtle inflection in plan; its gracefully curving contours offer a gentle and inviting embrace to those approaching. A long, shallow floor plate coupled with floor-to-ceiling windows allow for abundant natural daylight to penetrate deep into the building core. To perceptibly shorten the length of the building, the building’s west façade is articulated with vertical aluminum fins, which also function to frame views to the exterior while providing solar shading, thus mitigating heat gain in the summer months.

Its position adjacent to the river inspired the provision of green areas promoting rest and engagement, encouraging connectivity through the site to the open spaces along the water. On-site circulation and access to different modes of transit for workers (drivers, cyclists and pedestrians) are also well-considered, as is the relationship to the street. With a thorough sustainability strategy informing every aspect of the design, a geothermal system is being implemented, as is a rooftop photovoltaic array.

photo: rendering by Norm Li