Notification Window

Williams Parkway Operations Centre Phase 1 (2015)

10 Mar 2017
Image Credit: Tom Arban
Architectural Credit: Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects Inc.
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Date of Completion: 2015

OAA Awards 2017 Design Excellence Finalist 

Communicating transparency, lightness and efficiency in its formal approach, the design of Williams Parkway Operation Centre (Phase 1) promotes employee well-being, collaboration between departments and efficient interfacing with the public.   

Surrounded by low-rise industrial suburban development, the project aims to set an entirely new benchmark for architectural refinement in its setting, and for the operations centre typology in general. The project replaces an aging complex on an adjacent overlapping site. Phasing allows for the gradual changeover and decommissioning of the existing facility with no break in operations. Phase one, completed in 2015, comprises the public side of the project, with a two storey, 3,700 sqm office building, staff and public parking, a garden and event terrace, and significant green space. A second phase, encompassing the works yard, is currently under construction.

Site Plan
Diagram Credit: Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects Inc.

The Williams Parkway Operations centre’s site is located on a busy thoroughfare near a residential, suburban development. The main building is oriented such that Phase 1 approaches and engages the street with plentiful glazing and a cantilevered second storey boardroom. Meanwhile, the site's security fence only partially obscures the activity in the works yard beyond, promoting public engagement. This secure but transparent approach is practical while demonstrating sensitivity to the community.

Minimal and bright interiors give public employees a office keeping in line with contemporary commercial office standard.
Photo Credit: Tom Arban

A seamless composition integrating the administrative and workshop components of the building contrasts with the typical front office/back warehouse arrangement. The central architectural feature is a two storey glazed linear atrium that forms a spine running the length of the building which will be extended in Phase 2, providing formal cohesiveness to the entire complex. The double height linear atrium was conceived largely to foster better communication and cohesiveness between office staff, outdoor workers, tradespeople and visitors, while eliminating the implied hierarchy of office and workshop spaces that is often seen in municipal operations facilities.

The atrium features ample natural light and wood highlights.
Photo Credit: Tom Arban

The design focuses on transparency and material warmth – not often associated with municipal operations centres. The result is a high quality, stimulating environment for the City’s workers, and a facility that engages the public by making its inner workings visible to the street.

The Operations Centre is meant to demonstrate how public facilities can lead communities in their commitment to sustainable stewardship. Contributing features to the project's projected LEED Gold certification includes geothermal heating and cooling, a storm water retention pond, an extensive green roof, external solar shading, solar powered site lighting, and provisions for electric vehicles.

A landscaped courtyard will link Phases 1 and 2, providing a staff amenity and event space.
Photo Credit: Tom Arban
This project elevates the usual parameters for the design of operations centres through a considered focus on material selection, functionality and overall aesthetic. By creating a practical public works facility that doubles as a communal landmark, the team has delivered a building that bolsters the mission of its users while further serving the nearby neighbourhood.   

Flag as inappropriate


May 11, 2017 16:06 by Anonymous
Very elegant architectural response to a "working" building's program. Congratulations.

Carol Kleinfeldt

Flag this comment as inappropriate

Post new message: