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Before design work began to move the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design to the One Spadina Crescent location, NADAAA worked with the University of Toronto to adapt their existing Architecture building at 230 College Street. This project spoke to its context at a variety of scales. The project includes the renovation and adaptive use of a significant local landmark located at the center of one of the City’s few circular parcels. The historic 19th-century neo-gothic masonry structure will receive a full upgrade to its envelope (replacement windows, re-pointing, new insulation) and its systems (mechanical heating, ventilation; electrical and IT). The “u”-shaped north wall of the building embraced an intimate, cloistered courtyard originally. The new addition will fill this zone, and repurpose the idea of the original courtyard to suit the building’s new use through the insertion of a monumental, flexible auditorium that will serve both the school and the broader University community. The original “u”-shaped heritage corridors are closed as a loop around the new auditorium by the new addition.

In general, the heritage building will provide south-facing offices for the faculty, a suit of offices, reception areas and meeting rooms for the school’s administrative staff on the ground level, and several classrooms and pinup spaces.  Specific monumental spaces in the neo-gothic structure will be preserved, and in some cases, restored.  For instance, the nave of a triple-high recitation hall had been subdivided over the years with new floor decks at each level. The proposed renovation includes the demolition of one of these floors, and restoration of historic timber kings trusses above, in the service of a new use as a mediatheque classroom. On the building exterior, The gothic towers of the heritage structure have directly informed the vertical emphasis and filigree rhythm of the new addition facades that will directly about it.  

The Flex Hall contains ‘saddle’ spaces on all sides, creating connections between crit rooms, student lounge spaces,  studios and the central flex hall. The hall can also be sealed off as a dark screening room for large lectures.  The Flex Hall can be divided into three spaces by large panelized walls, creating the possibility for one, two or three lecture halls at a time. When set as three lecture halls the space supports 80 students per space. The graduate studio space is a dedicated studio hall, with the ability to be organized in a variety of ways: as seminar style studios, individual desk studio spaces, and collective collaborative fabrication spaces among other organizations. The perimeter is lined with pin up walls.

Ascending on the east-west axis, the stair arrives onto an open bleacher space, which serves as a sectional bridge between the studio spaces on the third level and the Flex Hall at the core of the building. The space functions as both a crit space and a breakout space when classes are not in session. It also serves as an oculus to draw light into the core of the building.

The renovation and expansion embody a sustainable design focused on the context of the city and dynamic use patterns over time through utilization efficiency, energy/water/material efficiency, properly insulated building fabric, indoor environmental quality, landscape, and urbanity. The performance target of 60% below Canada’s model energy code is supported by the integration of engineered systems, building form and occupant culture. Data on resource consumption will be interpreted via “dash-board” interface for students to understand their consumption behavior. Building science faculty/students will benchmark performance against peers and expectations. The Landscape department will utilize the planted roof areas for their Green Roof Innovation Testing research program, monitoring the environmental performance of the vegetated and photovoltaic roofscape. 

An innovative voided slab structural system is proposed in order to address several sustainable and aesthetic goals of the project.  Voided slabs utilize hollow plastic spheres to offset concrete material at the center of the slab while retaining it at the top and bottom where internal stresses are greatest.  Voided slabs allow exposed architectural concrete ceilings to span longer without downturn beams, and with a smaller carbon footprint. Because voided slabs are partially precast off-site, hydronic tubing for energy-efficient radiant heating and cooling will be pre-installed in the factory.

Principals: Katherine Faulkner, AIA; Nader Tehrani
Project Team: Richard Lee, Tom Beresford, John Houser, Amin Tadj, Tim Wong, Alda Black, Marta Guerra, Animations, James Juricevich, Parke Macdowell, Dane Asmussen, Laura Williams, Peter Sprowls, Noora Al Musallam, Tammy Teng, Wesley Hiatt, John Mars, Mazyar Kahali   
Associated Architect:  Adamson Associates Architects

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