TIFF Bell Lightbox is a bright five-storey glass structure overlooking Toronto’s entertainment district. The project’s lead architect, Bruce Kuwabara of KPMB Architects, believes that the new headquarters for the Toronto International Film Festival will quickly become party central. However, you would be mistaken for thinking that the purpose of TIFF Bell Lightbox is to host the film world each September. “The real value of the building is for the 355 days when it’s used for all the other aspects of film appreciation,” says Kuwabara.
The venue will officially open its doors during the 35th annual Toronto International Film Festival in September 2010. It encompasses over 153,000 square feet of multi-use space with more than 1,300 cinema seats, a three-storey public atrium, two galleries, three learning studios, a student centre, and staff offices, along with a bistro, a restaurant, and a lounge.
TIFF Bell Lightbox artistic director Noah Cowan will manage the year-round programming, and envisions “a constant stimulation of the mind.” He is particularly excited about making use of the ground-floor exhibition space. One of the first presentations will be the wildly successful Tim Burton: The Exhibition from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.
True to the cinematic nature of TIFF Bell Lightbox, Cowan believes that the biggest story of the new building and the permanent home for the non-profit group is yet to be revealed. “We’ve been piloting education and learning workshops for 20 years, and now we finally have a place to unveil this expertise,” he says
Photo by Tom Arban.