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Firefighter training centre deals with burning issues

The Toronto Star writes on the city's Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute. Located on Greater Toronto Airport Authority lands, the institute will soon become the only accredited private fire-fighting college in Canada. The concrete, steel and glass complex was designed by architects Carol Kleinfeldt and Roman Mychajlowycz and is, according to Toronto Star architecture critic Christoper Hume "one of the most compelling examples of contemporary architecture to appear in some time."

"Öthe institute takes a pragmatic, even prosaic, program and turns it into something elegant, exciting yet supremely practical. The project is an architectural tour de force, a demonstration in concrete, steel and glass of how design can make the world a more interesting if not a better place."

"The main structure, which rises at an angle from the ground on one side, is gently sloped on the opposite to allow for an expansive green roof. The building is a really a series of buildings, long, thin and connected. The budget, $13 million, didn't allow for empty flourishes or deluxe materials. Many of the walls are concrete block. Small details such as oxygen tubing and light fixtures provide the occasion for decoration."

"Architecturally, the significance of the project goes beyond its utility. What matters most is process, not product. Of course, the facility serves its purpose, but it does so with a strong sense that various subtexts can also be addressed. That means anything from the landscape itself to the innate human desire to be engaged with one's surroundings."

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original source Toronto Star
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