Marnie’s Studio, SickKids, An Innovative Transformation

The Marnie’s Studio project at Sick Kids Hospital transformed the existing Bear Theatre into a multi-purpose art and performance space. The original theatre space was designed to resemble a forest with dark colors, murals of forest scenes and heavy dark drapes that kept daylight out. The 2,900 SF space was converted into a bright and modern art and performance studio. It includes a media centre for film/music, complete with a recording studio, a stage for live productions and performances, and a creative arts area with an art bar and space for dance practices.

The client and the kids wanted a clean and contemporary space, light-filled and flexible to accommodate different programming, welcoming to kids between the ages of 4 and 18, and wheelchair accessible. They wanted art bars at different heights, writing surfaces on the walls, and places to display and dry the art created by the kids using the space.

The project objective was to give the space a facelift without undergoing major renovations. All existing walls, doors and window frames were reused and repainted, and all existing forest murals were removed. A new colour palette uses neutral paints with fresh white walls and light, wood-look flooring. Bright colours and patterns were injected into the space through the use of resin panels, custom vinyl graphics, floor patterns, and magnetic, writable glass panels that provide kids with additional surfaces on which to express their creativity.

The project received an ARIDO, Award of Merit.

For a glimpse of this transformation at Sickkids click here.