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Animation Centre ARCS 3105 Anthony Labonte 100859648

Why Animation?

Canada has always been a strong player in the animation scene. The Montrealer Raoul Barre is credited with the invention of the peg bars to hold up drawings, as well as having the background on a seperate sheet of paper which revolutionized the medium and became the standard practice. Toronto & Vancouver are also in the top 5 cities in North America to work in animation. A lot of animation is done in Canda, like the shows above. (Ren & Stimpy, Arthur, Tom & Jerry and The Raccoons.)

With Ottawa being only a short trip away from Toronto and other notable animation hubs such as Montreal, New York, Boston & Chicago, it is no surprise that Ottawa is home to the largest North American Animation Festival. It is the second largest in the world with the largest being in Annecy, France. Oddly enough, the Toronto Film Festival is credited as the 2nd largest film festival internationally, the first being in Cannes, France.

The Animation Festival

With the TIFF having a central hub in Toronto, I think it’s fair that the Ottawa International Animation Festival receives a home too. This year there was an attendance of over 26 000. It’s great that the festival scatters around the city allowing tourist to explore Ottawa, but there should be a central location exclusively for the festival that can become the meeting point for all festival goers. The building can be a year round institute that offers many animation-related resources like a large screening theater, an exhibition space, conference rooms, a studio, and a place for animation lessons.

The festival attracts many industry types because they host a large conference during the festival. “The Animation Conference is North America’s only event that lets you pitch, network and keep up with industry trends, while giving you access to the most creative, original and innovative animation out there. This animation business forum is designed for professionals in content creation, development, production, distribution and marketing.” I emailed the artistic Director, Chris Robinson and he was very enthusiatic about the idea.

Precedent Studies

TIFF Bell Lightbox KPMB Architects “the design acts as a framework for human action and imagination in which the solidity of architecture and the ephemerality of the medium of film are fused.� I was exchanging emails with KPMB Associate John Peterson and he was able to email me the plans of the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

An element I wanted to adapt into my design was to have a facade that can be representative of the program. I liked how the Cinema bulged out of the building, that is why I made the Cinema from the Animation Centre a large projection. I also used Sine curves aroudn the rest of building because that is the natural movement of humans.

Precedent Studies

2) LE PROJET DE LA CINEMATHEQUE FRANCAISE Les programmes à accueillir s’insèrent naturellement avec leur diversité dans les volumes complexes du bâtiment d’origine, tout en y ajoutant des variations dues aux programmes eux-mêmes, aux liaisons nécessaires entre volumes hauts et aux circulations verticales internes aux pôles du projet.

Le projet s’articule autour de pôles principaux : Lesixconcept du projet

de réaménagement se base sur la réutilisation et la restructuration de lieux existants, et sur la création de nouveaux lieux correspondant aux nouvelles fonctions du lieu, définis suivant des notions de respect du bâtiment existant mais également d’appropriation, d’adaptation, pour conduire à une identité propre.

- Quatre salles de projection,

- Les collections permanentes,

Pour ce faire, les travaux nécessaires ont été de natures différentes :

- Les expositions temporaires,

- Une bibliothèque-médiathèque, - conservation

: espaces d’origine conservés et mis aux normes : accueil et hall, salle de cinéma N°4, grande salle d’exposition temporaire, une partie des bureaux,… : bureaux en médiathèque, bureaux en ateliers,… : studios (logements) en bureaux, studios en médiathèque, plateaux polyvalents en salles de cinéma, … - restructuration lourde : théâtre en salle de cinéma et musée avec création de niveaux intermédiaires, monte charge en escalier et ascenseur, boutique en hall des cinémas, circulation commune des salles de cinéma, création de circulations verticales, de verrières et passerelles, ….

- Des activités d’éducation au cinéma, - reconversion

- transformation - Un bar-restaurant et une librairie-boutique.


Présentation du projet / Atelier de l’île architectes/ Rioualec scénographe/ Soretec bet / Parica économiste / avril 2005

L’ancien théâtre



Le nouveau hall, la grande salle de cinéma, et les espaces muséographiques

Architecturalement, le projet se construit principalement autour de trois attitudes : Présentation du projet / Atelier de l’île architectes/ Rioualec scénographe/ Soretec bet / Parica économiste / avril 2005



La Cinémathèque Française Frank Gehry, Dominique Brard This precedent was the driving project behind my I was able to replicate the size and slope of his cinema spaces. Since I studied the sculpture aspects projection spaces. That cinema only holds 456 people of Frank Gehry buildings, it was very useful to have the whereas I needed just over 600 if I wanted to host plans and elevations for his cinematheque project in Paris. Galas for the animation festival, so I modified the seating plans and theatre dimensions accordingly.

Precedent Studies

Kiasma Steven Holl This was a great precedent study to look at curved spaces. The over arching element alludes to the sound absorption wall that curves over the animation studios.

Precedent Studies

Algonquin School of Animaton A friend of mine went to Algonquin College for their Animation program. He was able to show me around explain to me what types of classes they needed. I was able to take pictures of each classroom and take some measurements. The Algonquin School of Animation did not have the best layout but it was still a valuable ressource.

Precedent Studies

PIP Animation PIP Animation is the largest animation Studio in Ottawa. They are currently working on three productions including Cartoon Networks`s Tom & Jerry. I was able to meet with David Fortier who is the Studio Director & Head of Production. We talked for an hour and he was able to tell me all the requirements they had for a tstudio as well

as what kind of equipment they needed. We discussed the problems with the current layout of their studio.This information session was very helpful because he could walk me through the studio while explaining the animation process so I can have a better understanding of how to design the studio.


The floor slabs will be poured concrete with a radiant heating system. Since students and professional animators will be required to spend long hours inside the studio, I would like to use warm materials. The ceilings will be lined with wood panels, and the exposed facade structure will be glulam.

Since the building is in Ottawa, the glass will have to be double glazed. Glass will be used to seperate the public from the animation studio. I would like to draw the similarities between using glass to seperate layers in a building, and using cels to seperate layers in an animation and what happends when you look through all the different layers superimposed on eachother.

12 Principles of Architecture






Thomas and Ollie Johnston composed a list of 12 essential







I translated them into an architectural language to bridge the gap between Animation and Architecture.

Appeal Squash & Stretch

Straight Ahead Vs Pose to Pose

An animated building has appeal. Appeal, as you will use


Straight ahead design is the process of designing with

it, includes an easy to read design, clear drawing, and


the focus being on the overall composition, whereas



pose to pose design would be to design the important

the public’s interest. Like all forms of story telling, the

interior spaces individually while finding the overall form.

architecture has to appeal to the mind as well as to the eye.

Experiencing the opposite of a moment to emphasize

Slow In & Slow Out











supported multiple






























Orchestrating the timming between each space in the structure.

a small space before a grand open space.

moments should be eased in and out of.




Understanding the program of a space by the design,

All humanistic movements follow an arc or slightly circular path.



wether it’s by the enveloppe or the interior.

Arcs give architecture a more natural circulation and better flow.



Secondary Action

Solid Drawing

The compilation of smaller architectural gestures to create a whole.


Follow The

Through circulation

and space

Overlapping for



Movement buildings

should be continuous and should lead back to itself.





caricature to










i.e. not designing the facade for one side of a building.

Artist Precedent

John K Quebec City John K is the founder of the cult classic “Ren & Stimpy” what is so memorable about his cartoons is the way he visually represents expression. At his studio Spumco, he has a strict requirement of never repeating the same expression. This restriction encourages animators to find new organic facials expressions. Animation is less about reproducing reality but more about expressing reality. We feel their emotions by seeing chariatures of how we feel.

Frank Ghery Toronto Frank Ghery’s architecture is often seen as bizarre because he finds organic forms and blows them up in scale and it always has an appeal. Much like John K, Ghery rarely has an element of reptition in his work. The expressive curves appear to be a caricature of architecture.

Site Photos

The Ottawa site works better for me mainly because of program. Since I wanted to adopt an Ottawa Animation Studio for my building, as well as co-incide with the Ottawa Animation Festival. The site also had great features like a hill of trees on the southern side and Ottawa River views to the North.


I will design the building to work with the sun. There is no glazing on the southern side so the building will not over heat. I have double glazed curved glass which will keep the heat in. A radiant heating system will be installed in all the floors. Since we know that forced air is bad for air flow. Ventilation will be quite simple since the building is very open concept. The public space is a giant loop, whereas the private space is a giant open attrium.


The building has two handicap accessible bathrooms, one for guys and one for girls. There is 3 elevators wide enough to fit a wheelchair. The basement is accessible by ramp as well as elevator. There is 3 designated seats for wheelchairs in the Cinema. To accomdate them with a better viewing spot, I placed the designated wheelchair viewing area on the top row as oppose to the bottom

row where the angle of viewing is harmful for the neck. There is only one floor open to the public and it’s the ground floor which facilates walking through the building for those with mobility problems. The public path is a loop that brings you back to the entrance, so it eases circulation for those who have difficulties with directions.

12 Principles

To better understand the architectural qualities of the 12 principles of animation, I recreated them as forms. (from left to right: Squash & Stretch, Anticipation, Staging, Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose, Follow Through and Overlapping Action, Slow in & Slow Out, Arcs, Secondary Action, Timing, Exaggeration, Solid Drawing and Appeal)

12 Principles

Next I tried to make a composition of the forms. This is very much inspired by the Frank Gehry Design Process.

12 Principles


I created 6 little flip books to represent some of the 12 principles of animation. I tried to manipulate the form of a prism and see how I can sculpt it diffrently with each frame.

(From left to right: Arc, Anticipation, Staging)

12 Principles

(From left to right: Overlapping Action, Pose to Pose and Straight Ahead, Slow In & Slow Out)


I designed my animation centre in a Gehrylike sculpture. I tried to incorporate the experiential qualities of all12 Principles of animation

Schematic Sketches


Detail Specs

I have specified certain companies that have the technology to build my facade structure. Glulam beams have a lot of advantages, it can be made into complex curves and it is very strong. It can also span lenghts of 100 feet. I have decided to spec the company APA. Pilkinton sell brackets to hold double glazing. And finally the website has a few options for curved double glazing sellers.

Use of Wood

Since Animators are expected to spend long hours in studio, I thought it would be appropriate to use materials that make people feel at home. I decided to clad all the ceilings with wood to give that sense of comfort. The floors juxtapose the celing because they will be poured concrete.

Glulam wood will be used to structure the grand facade. The facade is my favourite part of the building. It`s made of glass so even from the outside you can see the internal woodden structure. Glulam wood is very strong, flexible and can span great lenghts, so it is almost a better choice then steel structurally.

Use of a Large Sound Absorption Panel

Since the animation school and professional studio are connected by an open attrium, I had to figure out a way to resolve the sound pollution problem. I decided to line the southern wall with a large over arching sound absorption panel. Sound absorption panels are rarely used esthetically,

but they have a nice indutrial feel to them. It goes well with the exposed structure, and honest use of materials inside the building. Not only will it absorb the sound from the studios, but it is also a great architectural moment.

The Cel Animation Effect

Animators have to have the ability to observe real life in order to animate realistically. The reason I have glass walls dividing the public exhibition space and the private working space is so that the animators can observe the visitors. While they sketch ideas down they are able to obersve real life. The visitors are also able to discover the process of animation. In that sense they are observing eachother, sort of like a two-way zoo. When animation was in its infancy,

animators would have to sketch, draw, ink and colour every frame by hand. This process is called cel animation because they would draw on a clear paper called a cel. Sometimes they would have multiple characters moving at once so they would need to layer the cels over eachother and on top of a background. I wanted to recreate that affect in my building. The visitors are one character squished between two panes of glass while a still background lays behind them.


My building circulation is very simple, the middle is the private space and the outer ring is the exhibiton space. The rooftop boardwalk has the exact same loop. You are able to enter the boardwalk from the outer stairs

that follow gradual slope of the facade. The Rooftop is accessible by elevator as well, it is only one floor above grade, but it is high enough to see the Ottawa River over the trees. Circulation was very important for my building.

Community Development

存 My building is able to have free nightime animation viewings. This will be usefull for the students and professionals to gather and analyse aimations together as well as bring the animation enthusiasts of Ottawa together. This building can grow an animation community year round as oppose to just during the festival. Having

free projections on summer nights can become the reson people come visit and celebrate Canadas long rich history with animation. By simply inverting the slope of the seat from the inner cinema, the buidling is able to create a natural secondary cinema on the rooftop.

Site Plan

___ 10m

Section & Elevation Life Drawing

Sound Recording

Software Development

Studio 1

Professional Studio

Studio 2

Projection Room


Studio 3 __ 1m

__ 1m


Cinema Studio 2

Studio 3

Studio 1 Software Development

__ 1m

Level 1 (Grade)

Professional Studio Sound

__ 1m

Level 2

Exterior Facade

Rooftop Boardwalk

Professional Studio

Animation School

Exhibition Space

Life Drawing Studio

Projection Room

Open Air Cinema


References: Why Animation: Animation Festival Tiff: Email from John Peterson Cinematecque

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