Matteo Maneiro: “Vacant//Memories”

Spotlight on Students: Matteo Maneiro breathes new life into the vacant Paradise Cinema

The Paradise Cinema, an historic theatre located in Toronto’s Bloorcourt Village, was originally built in the late 1930’s and has changed ownership numerous times over the years. But in 2006, it showed its last movie and has sat unoccupied ever since. In March 2012, the City designated it a heritage building, ensuring demolition would not be its fate.

Recent Daniels Master of Architecture graduate Matteo Maneiro’s final thesis project imagined a new use for this iconic building that would reintegrate it into the surrounding community. For his work, he was awarded the Irving Grossman Prize, given to a MArch student on the basis of excellence and innovation in a final thesis project on multiple-unit housing or adaptive re-use of buildings.

Maneiro spoke with many residents and local business owners for their feedback on a future incarnation of the building and created a short documentary of his findings.

Maneiro endeavoured to create an environment that is reminiscent of the theatre’s past, but mindful of its future with flexibility and shared tenancy of creative professionals at its core. His proposal for the building includes the construction of a 650 square metre addition to the north of the original 900 square metre building, creating a series of outdoor spaces including a large rooftop terrace with the capacity to house live shows and outdoor cinema. The extra square footage would also allow for the creation of studios, offices, small galleries and event spaces to accommodate both long and short term renters. Multiple renters would allow for more affordable spaces and create an environment of collaboration between the various tenants. The floor of the main theatre space would be levelled out with retractable seating to accommodate events such as concerts, weekend markets and projected media.

One of Maneiro’s goals was to have everything out in the open with visual and spatial connections throughout. He proposes turning the former dressing rooms into bathrooms and creating suspended catwalks to connect the different spaces in the building. The building’s original concrete frame and new steel bracing would be proudly displayed, with its circulation system hung from the structural beams.

Maneiro hopes to make his concept a reality. He is presenting his proposal to the new owner, Moray Tawse, Vice President of Mortgage Investments at First National Financial, who bought the building in December 2012.

Read the full article about Matteo’s thesis project at:

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