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Winning design by Heller Manus
May 11, 2012
Hornblower Canada Co has been selected by the Niagara Parks Commission to provide the boat tour and landside facilities at the Niagara Falls Gorge. Heller Manus is the design architect for Hornblower's winning bid. The winning design from Heller Manus creates an inviting entry and boarding areas, a visitor's center, and private riverside event space for Hornblower. The design is comprised of an entry pavilion located on a top plateau and the boat landing facilities located adjacent to the Niagara River and Falls. Housing both the ticket and information booth buildings, the entry pavilion is covered by three fabric structures, which provide protection for people waiting in line and become a visual gateway icon for visitors. Once visitors purchase their tickets, they will take an elevator down to the river level's boat landing facilities, comprised of the visitor pavilion, embarkation pavilion, and event center. Adjacent to the embarkation pavilion will be a picnic area where visitors can dine and view the river. The event center will be housed in an existing brick building and will contain a cafÚ, interpretative displays, special events spaces, restrooms, lockers and storage space.There will be a large exterior deck on the second level where visitors can dine and have a spectacular view of Niagara Falls. Along with the elevator access, a shuttle tram will be used to bring visitors down to the boat landing area using an existing access road.The facilities will be designed to accommodate special events for large groups both in the daytime and in the evening.Hornblower will begin Niagara operations in Spring 2014. The project will be designed to achieve LEED certification. Founded over 25 years ago, Heller Manus Architects is a San Francisco-based architecture and urban design firm, with offices in San Francisco and Shanghai. The firm's international practice area has grown to include over 950 square kilometers of urban design projects and 8 million square meters of sustainable architecture throughout China including Shanghai, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Inner Mongolia, and the greater Beijing area.