In the Globe today I broke the details of a new building for the University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design.
Designed by NADAAA, it will update an 1875 building at One Spadina Crescent and add on a sizeable new wing that combines landscape and architecture, and is artfully composed – it’ll offer 100,000 square feet of research, teaching and lab space, along with public programming and research in four pavilions around the edges, in a building that will be a dramatic example of 21st-century design in Toronto. It will house some discussion – and stir up discussion – about architecture, landscape, ecology, and big questions about city-building. The design team includes landscape architects Public Work, heritage architects ERA and Adamson & Associates.
It is designed with a strong sustainability agenda and very cleverly composed – its 100,000 square foot bulk includes a public “street” that cuts across the circular site, and part of the building’s bulky studios are hidden below ground, but all of the large spaces are interwoven to share daylighting and circulation.
Around the outside of the circle, four pavilions will include a gallery and research space for a thinktank called the Global Cities Institute – including a Model Cities Theatre and Lab that will test and display ideas about urban design and development. These pavilions, and a series of experimental green roofs on top of them, will be visible to the 50,000 people who pass daily on the streetcar and in traffic.
An east-west “street” through the building will provide a badly needed pedestrian link across the site.
Assuming it all comes together, it will set a strong example for contemporary architecture and landscape in the city.