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This colourful installation by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design evokes the local manufacturing past and energetic tech future of the locale

Designed by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design

From the architects/designers

Once a major hub for manufacturing, Toronto's Kitchener-Waterloo region is now a hot spot for Canada’s growing tech communities. 

With newly opened offices of Yahoo, Google, and other major tech players, as well as hundreds of start-ups, the area located an hour’s drive from Toronto is home to one of the fastest-growing economies in the country.

 Kitchener’s downtown core alone, comprised of a mix of converted warehouses and new buildings, has proven to be attractive for new businesses and satellite offices for major companies based in Toronto.

For the lobby atrium of one of these new buildings on King Street, Dubbeldam Architecture + Design created Binary Spectrum, a site-specific installation that embodies ideas drawn from the region’s rich history of manufacturing and its transformation to a burgeoning tech hub. 


Rising three storeys, it is constructed from 8,000 coloured discs of varying diameters suspended from 650 wire cables.

Binary Spectrum explores the yin-yang relationship of tangible fabricated object (manufacturing) with a representation of the intangible digital realm, says architect Heather Dubbeldam. 

“The repetitive discs suggest digital processes and fractal patterns found in science, and they are used to create a spatial effect with a human scale.”

The atrium is transformed into a dynamic environment where visitors can experience the installation’s kinetic properties. 

As people move in and around the space on two levels, the vertical cables softly sway, bringing the sculpture to life and reflecting the buzzing energy of the building’s inhabitants. 

Myriad patterns can be viewed from different perspectives and provide a new sensory experience with each angle – whether seen from the exterior, from below or adjacently from the upper floor, visitors can engage with the installation in unique ways. 

Comforting in their familiar shape and colours, the suspended circular coloured acrylic discs fill the space and draw people in from the street. 

The contrast created by two ends of the colour spectrum is softened through the gradient between them: warm reds and cool blues merge and resonate with the lobby furniture, specifically sourced to coordinate with the installation’s bluish tones. 

For spatial effect, the faceted furniture is arranged to create a defined resting space within the larger lobby and a multiplicity of vantage points from which to view the installation.

Credit list

Fabrication and installation
Sixpenny Architectural Fabrication
Installation design
Dubbeldam Architecture + Design; project team – Heather Dubbeldam, Scott Sampson, Krystal Kramer

Designed by: Dubbeldam Architecture + Design

Story by: Trendsideas

Photography by: Riley Snelling

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