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Power Plant Becomes Temporary Arts Venue in Toronto

The conversion is the work of local firm Partisans

There’s just something about a disused power plant that beckons to folks in the arts: The abundance of space is an enticement, for sure, but there is also the undeniable appeal of the aesthetics of an energy station turned arts space: rugged meets refined, concrete meets concerto.

That’s just the spirit that guides the use of the Hearn Generating Station, a 400,000-square-foot former coal plant in Toronto, as a temporary performance venue for the city’s 10th annual Luminato Festival. Gussied up for programming that will run through Sunday, June 26, the conversion was masterminded by local firm Partisans, and—because 2016—has its own hashtag, #turnonthehearn.

The space will be used for a combination of art installations, theatrical productions, and "creative interventions." It also includes a café, galleries, and more.

Shipping container fans, you’re in luck: in what Designboom calls a "macro-scale game of architectural Jenga," designers at Partisans used the metal units du jour to create smaller gallery spaces within the cavernous power plant. While we assume things are more secure than "Jenga" implies, a lightly improvisational vibe does seem to pervade the space. Take a look.