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BEAT Talk with KPMB Architects

  • KPMB Architects Inc. 322 King Street West Toronto, ON, M5V 1J2 Canada (map)

BEAT is proud to announce that the upcoming session of Mentorship Mondays will be hosted by Marianne McKenna and Shirley Blumberg of KPMB Architects on the evening of February 27, 2017. The objective of the event is to provide a platform for dialogue, networking and mentorship while supporting and advancing equality within the Architecture profession.


Shirley Blumberg

Partner, CM, OAA, FRAIC, AIA

Shirley Blumberg is a Member of the Order of Canada “for her contributions to architecture and for her commitment to creating spaces that foster a sense of community.” Her portfolio ranges from mixed-use developments to highly specialized cultural and academic institutions, many with a focus on revitalizing heritage contexts.

Shirley’s projects include the James Stewart Centre for Mathematics at McMaster University and the CIGI Campus in Waterloo, both winners of AIA Honor Awards. She played a role in Toronto’s Cultural Renaissance as the partner-in-charge of Canada’s National Ballet School, the Gardiner Museum, and the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Shirley is currently KPMB’s partner-in-charge for the Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan, Toronto Community Housing, Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Toronto. She was the design partner for UBC’s new Robert H. Lee Alumni Centre and Ponderosa Commons a prototypical mixed-use campus development.

Shirley is a member of the Toronto Community Housing Design Review Panel, and has served on the City of Toronto Design Review Panel. She also established Building Equality in Architecture Toronto (BEAT), an independent initiative dedicated to the promotion of equality in the profession of Architecture.


Marianne McKenna


Marianne McKenna is an invested Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 2013, she was recognized as one of the 50 most powerful people in Canada by Maclean’s magazine.

Marianne offers diverse experience in a range of project typologies, inclusive of spaces for higher education, workplace interiors, hospitality and master planning. She has completed projects for the University of Toronto, McGill University, Concordia University, Torys LLP, and Goldman Sachs. For the past 20 years, Marianne’s special focus has been the architecture of concert halls and how design is used to engage community. Projects include the Orchestra Hall Renewal for the Minnesota Orchestra and Toronto’s Royal Conservatory TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning, including the renowned Koerner Hall. In 2011, Marianne was made an Honorary Fellow of The Royal Conservatory. Current projects include an expansion and renovation of iconic Massey Hall, the Kellogg School of Management, the workplace strategy for The Globe and Mail offices, and an expansion for The Brearley School in New York City.

Marianne is the Norman R. Foster Visiting Professor at the Yale School of Architecture and sits on the Board of Directors for Metrolinx, a provincial agency charged with improving transportation in the Greater Toronto area.



KPMB Architects is an award winning, internationally recognized Canadian practice. It is notable for its unique hybrid form of architecture and practice, developed to respond to our multi-cultural, dynamically changing world. This is manifested in the diversity of the portfolio for culture, education, healthcare and paradigm shifting climate responsive design. Every project is conceived to support an essential belief in the power of architecture to influence civil and moral conditions. The firm comprises a deep pool of highly talented women and men who together form dynamic integrated design teams to ensure every design solution balances vision and pragmatism, environmentally responsible design and architectural excellence. KPMB has over 250 awards. The founding partners, Bruce KuwabaraMarianne McKenna, and Shirley Blumberg are each recipients of the Order of Canada for their contribution to Canadian culture and society.

Their approach prioritizes integrated design thinking, and the making of architecture of the highest quality in a manner that supports everything our clients wish to achieve – socially, functionally, financially, aesthetically, and environmentally.

The diversification of the practice is also demonstrated by projects in healthcare, urban development, and high performance sustainability design. Recently Bridgepoint Health, a new model for preventative care, received the 2016 the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture and Manitoba Hydro Place in Winnipeg continues to reign as one of the world’s 10 most sustainable buildings.

Light refreshments will be provided. 

Earlier Event: November 29
Dinner with Petra Blaise
Later Event: March 4
Women in Architecture Seminar