Diller Scofidio + Renfro has unveiled the design for a 170,000-square-foot stacked building at the University of Toronto (U of T) to be known as 90 Queen’s Park. Set on the site of a former planetarium, the interdisciplinary structure will serve nine previously-dispersed departments at U of T, but will specifically house the university's newly-established School of Cities, a global hub for urban-focused research, education, and outreach. DS+R was awarded the project after winning a 2016 design competition in which the New York–based firm collaborated with two practices from Toronto, architectsAlliance and ERA Architects. The result of their efforts is a looming, boxy building that appears to shine with a coppery metallic finish. The most important part of the design, according to the architects, is the surrounding context. It’s bordered by Queen’s Park to the east, the Royal Ontario Museum to the north, the 1960s-era Edward Johnson Building to the west (home of U of T’s Faculty of Music), as well as Flavelle House to the south, a Victorian-style structure housing the Faculty of Law. DS+R’s intervention to the nearly-200-year-old university will be among its most stand-out modern structures when complete. With a rectangular design configured to fit like a puzzle piece around the adjacent Falconer Hall, the school’s original, 118-year-old law building, it's meant to seamlessly connect U of T’s arts, architecture, and legal institutions with one another. Stilted on one end, 90 Queen’s Park features nine distinct layers. Renderings show each level includes varying facades of ribbed glass with some floors set back and others slightly cantilevered for flare. A large, concaved window overwhelms several middle floors on the south facade of the structure and serves as the backdrop to a 200-seat music recital hall. The architects designed the performance space around the large opening to show off views of southern Toronto’s skyline. At the top of the building is a 400-seat event space featuring floor-to-ceiling windows that wrap the southern and eastern edges of the building, also providing sights of the city. DS+R describes this part of the exterior as eroding from the other sides of the building. To the right of Falconer Hall facing Queen’s Park, the structure boasts 10 strips of opaque glass that are cut off at different lengths. The transparent sections reveal interior corridors, public spaces, as well as the central atrium and spiraling stairs, while the more solid ends conceal classrooms and offices. Charles Renfro, cofounder and principal of DS+R, said in a statement that the building’s dynamic design is aimed to inspire collaborative discourse and public engagement. “This ‘campus within a campus’ is revealed in the building’s dual identity—a smooth cohesive block of faculty offices and workspaces gives way to a variegated expression of individual departments as the building is sculpted around Falconer Hall,” he said. In addition to housing the School of Cities, 90 Queen’s Park will include room for classes within the Faculty of Arts + Science, including history, Near and Middle Eastern civilizations, and the Institute of Islamic Studies, as well as the Anne Tanenbaum Centre of Jewish Studies. Some space will also be dedicated to the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Music, while other gathering areas will be used by the adjacent Royal Ontario Museum. U of T’s School of Cities was created last year to combine the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design with community-based research initiatives dedicated to solving the world’s biggest urban issues. In a press release, Richard Sommer, dean of the department, noted that the building’s outward face is of particular importance. “The edges of the campus and its borders with the city are the places where you engage the community and the vibrancy of the city of Toronto,” he said. “When you have buildings that are at these edges, it’s particularly important that they have programming that produces a platform for public exchange.” Set to break ground in 2020, the project will also include a large entry plaza to the north that will feature a terraced landscape, as well as a cafe and restaurant.
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The University of Toronto is teaming up with Vancouver-based practice Patkau Architects and Toronto’s MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA) to build a 14-story timber and concrete tower, the tallest in North America. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is taking on the role of structural core and envelope, with the only concrete portion being the existing foundation. According to Shane O'Neill of Patkau Architects, the new tower will “utilize conventional glulam timber floor slabs, in addition to glulam timber columns, beams, and cross-bracing members.” The entire CLT structure is wrapped in multi-angled glazed glass, with a series of skylights and tilted planes providing natural light to atriums and stairwells below. The tower will be built atop the University of Toronto’s Goldring Center, which was designed by Patkau Architects and MJMA in 2014 to support the mass of a significant structure atop it. According to the University of Toronto News, the tower was originally going to be built of steel and concrete. However, wood building incentives provided by Ontario’s Mass Timber Institute and the environmentally friendly qualities of timber construction convinced the school and the designers to opt for the natural material. The structure joins the growing list of timber towers and academic buildings cropping up globally, ranging from London’s 121-unit Dalston Lane to the University of Idaho’s under-construction basketball arena. Currently, Patkau Architects and MJMA are wrapping up the design phase, with the goal of beginning construction in late 2019.
International firm Perkins+Will has unveiled plans for a new six story, 210,000 square foot scheme at the University of Toronto Mississauga in Ontario, Canada. The creatively named 'North Building Phase B' has a construction budget of $69 million and is due to be complete by the summer of 2018. The project will be home to six university departments: English & Drama, Historical Studies, Language Studies, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology, featuring student lounges, study areas and dining space. Part of a wider scheme, it is the second installment of a three-phase program replacing a not-so-temporary structure that was the campus' first building, built in 1967. In terms of its impact on the vicinity, the building will complete a circle of public space that surrounds the campus green creating a more holistic and established area for academia and university life. Notable features of the design, which was granted after Perkins+Will won a two-stage competition, include a terraced atrium that is part of a multipurpose event space, numerous state-of-the-art Active Learning Classrooms, elevated roof gardens and terraces overlooking the campus green for students and staff. The firm has also employed a sustainability focused approach using solar shading and natural ventilation in tandem with clever siting and building orientation. This isn't the first time Perkins + Will has designed for the University of Toronto. The practice has built four other buildings on the university's campus.
The University of Toronto recently revealed ambitious plans for One Spadina Crescent, a historic property with a 19th century Gothic Revival building positioned in the center of a roundabout. By next year, the site will be the University’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. NADAAA, in collaboration with E.R.A. Architects, will restore the historic building and add a new wing with lecture and studio space, a library and a digital fabrication workshop. The project will supply state-of-the-art accommodations for architecture, art, landscape, and urban design students and professors. One Spadina has lived many lives—it was built as a theological seminary and was later a military hospital for World War I veterans, a factory for penicillin and polio viruses, and an eyeball bank. Now, NADAAA will transform the site into a new home for the University's Daniels Faculty of Architecture. Through a $50-million campaign (of which $24 million remains to be raised), the makeover will involve a contemporary addition to the north side, as well as pavilions and a public hall to engage the community. Plans include removing a fence that encloses the property and restoring pedestrian access. The main east-west corridor will serve as an extension of Russel Street. The addition's exterior will be composed of glass, stone, and steel and will conserve views of the building’s grand turrets. Within the irregularly shaped structure, openings allow natural light to enter the floors and rooms. A considerable amount of interior space, about 100,000 square feet, will receive daylight. The contoured roof will allow for rainwater harvesting. The restoration and addition are planned for completion in 2015.
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Rotman School makes the most of high-performance concrete and glassThe University of Toronto Rotman School of Management’s nearly $100 million expansion project will more than double the size of the business school. A new 161,000-square-foot building designed by Toronto-based KPMB Architects mediates between its neighbors—a historic 19th century brick home on one side and the towering Brutalist Robarts Library on the other—while maintaining views to the medieval Oxbridge-style Massey College to the east. The architect’s solution to the architectural mixture is an elevated box made with floor-to-ceiling glazing punctuated by slivers of Ductal, a patented ultra-high performance concrete made by Lafarge. The building’s curtain wall is partly clad with more than 350 dark gray Ductal panels that are just 30 millimeters thick. Panels range from .5 to 1 meters wide by 3.5 to 5.3 meters high. An additional 100 panels, each only 19 millimeters thick, create an interior feature wall. The color and texture of the curtain wall’s opaque sections complement the black slate rooftops of several houses nearby. Fabricated by Ontario-based precast manufacturer Armtec, the panels were made with Ductal because of the concrete’s aesthetic quality and its ability to meet the structural requirements of a curtain wall application. KPMB’s challenge was to meet the university's request for a long, thin, lightweight span facade panel more than 5 meters tall, with a durable exterior surface. They hoped for a material that would show no signs of wear from the elements over time. Ductal could create a very thin, monolithic-plate, slab-type design with a custom-colored and molded surface that would also “plug-and-play” with curtain wall framing systems without intermediate jointing. The panels went through several iterations during the project’s mockup phase. Because Ductal was a fairly new material to Armtec, they studied its structural capabilities before developing the final panel manufacturing process and appearance. The final panel pattern and size is based on the need to keep the glass panels down to ±40 percent of the overall skin (due to energy performance criteria for LEED). The design also accommodates one operable window per office. The weight of the larger Ductal panels, along with the oversized unitized curtain wall panels, created some installation challenges during construction. Because the panels had a smooth exterior surface, the contractor was able to use vacuum cup lifters typically used with glass to install the panels. The technique allowed the smooth-panel fabrication processes to be maintained while keeping the project on schedule and reducing installation costs. Recently completed, the facade has added an appealing new face to the campus ahead of the building’s completion. When the addition opens later this year, the new structure will be fully integrated with the existing business school, allowing students to move through both buildings via several horizontal connections and a full-height atrium and staircase.