The expansion of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto speaks to its context in a variety of scales. The southwest, southeast, and northwest corners of the building take on a new urban significance by engaging new entry sequences. Acknowledging the oblique bias of the site, the main entry responds to the diagonal relationship the building maintains towards the street where the building skin is pulled up, revealing the original building behind, while opening up a “stramp” – a hybrid stair and ramp—that welcomes people of all abilities.
To solve the programmatic requirements of the project, we add a fifth floor and a partial six floor that opens into a roof terrace. A great challenge of this building is to create a sense of community, interdisciplinary interaction, and collaborative platforms in a structure that is predisposed to separation and stratification due to its vertical organization. By creating visual, accessible, and programmatic links between the various disciplines, the building’s interior is transformed as a place of learning. A public promenade is introduced the urban context, through the core of the building, all the way to the terrace rooftop.
A new cladding built around the existing structure unifies the building and provides a powerful iconic profile that effectively speaks to the importance of the architectural institution within the city, while also improving the building’s environmental performance.
The new building will be an exemplar of revitalization of an existing university building into a high-performance, resource efficient facility that provides a comfortable and high quality indoor environment. By comprehensively addressing a wide gamut of sustainable concerns, the renovated Daniels Building will have a significantly reduced environmental footprint with LEED Gold and carbon-neutral goals.
Location: Toronto, Canada