October 26 - The firm behind the Stadium being built for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics have been given the project to plan and design the Athletes' Village for the 2015 Pan/ParaPan American Game in Toronto in 2015.

HOK have been appointed by Infrastructure Ontario, in partnership with Waterfront Toronto, as the leader of the planning, design and compliance (PDC) team responsible for the section of the West Don Lands.

They will work in collaboration with Montgomery Sisam, DTAH, Quadrangle Architects and Populous and will be responsible for developing output specifications and preliminary design documents for the project.

These documents will form the guidelines and performance requirements within which the successful bidder team must work when preparing the overall design.

HOK have been the architects behind several major projects around the world, including designing London's Olympic Stadium.

They also designed the Emirates, the new stadium of Premier League Arsenal, and the London O2 Arena.

The Village "will change the face of Toronto's waterfront forever" according to Mark Guslits, the team leader and senior project director at HOK.

He said: "For Torontonians, the legacy of a new mixed-income, mixed tenure neighbourhood will live long after the Games.

"During the Games, the Village will be the finest home ever created for athletes."

The Athletes' Village project will proceed under Infrastructure Ontario's Alternative Financing and Procurement model whereby risks associated with designing, constructing, and financing the facilities are transferred to the private sector.

The Athletes' Village project increases the pace of the West Don Lands revitalisation, which is part of the renewal of Toronto's waterfront.

The design for the Village will be based on Waterfront Toronto's vision for a green, modern and vibrant new community as outlined in the West Don Lands Precinct Plan.

After the Games, the Village area will become a predominantly residential neighbourhood that includes affordable housing.

Eight thousand athletes and officials are expected to participate in the Pan American Games and 2,200 athletes and officials in the Parapan American Games.

Marc Klein, senior event manager with Populous will be the Village programme manager.

He is an expert in the design and planning of athletes' villages with experience working on 14 sites, including playing a lead role in the Olympic Villages for the 2012 Olympics in London and the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi.

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