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2018 MCHAP

Daniels Building


Toronto, Canada

November 2017


Nader Tehrani / NADAAA Katherine Faulkner, AIA, OAA / NADAAA


Adamson Associates (Associated Architect / Architect of Record) Public Work (Landscape Architect) ERA Architects Inc. (Heritage Consultant) Entuitive Corporation (Structural Engineer and Building Envelope Consultant)


Richard Sommer, Dean


John Horner Nic Lehoux NADAAA


These project directives were outlined to better serve the DFALD students, faculty, and staff: - Expand student programs, including a new foundation in undergraduate studies, fortified professional graduate programs, and post-professional and doctoral studies. - Provide for a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and work, as well as new digital material and fabrication technologies, and increased community outreach and public programming. - Create a site for focusing on UofT capacities in cities and urban research and demonstrate the role architecture and its allied arts play as a creative force and a catalyst for advanced thinking, connecting industry, government, communities and the private sector within the City of Toronto, and beyond. - Conceive of the entire project as a living laboratory, approaching the site’s redevelopment, existing heritage structure, new additions, and landscape as flexible, open forms with the capacity to adapt over time as environmental technologies and system evolve. - Rehabilitate the landscape, architecture and urban significance of Toronto’s 1 Spadina Crescent through the efficient reuse of existing elements, complementing them with thoughtful, contemporary interventions. - Engage our students in a didactic environment, where our site and building as a living laboratory serve as a teaching tools for sustainable building and landscape systems, and showcase, over time, the Faculty’s research on, and approach to issues of sustainability and resilience to broader publics. - Go “beyond LEED” with innovative systems that reduce energy consumption and a performance target well below Canada’s model energy code.


The Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at The University of Toronto was established in 1890. Since 1961 the Faculty had been located in a former dentistry building at 230 College Street in Toronto. In 2009, the Faculty launched a competition to transform their existing building into a framework more relevant to their teachings and aspirations. DFALD required a new working prototype of sustainability, to accommodate a program of studio space, fabrication workshops, classrooms, offices, library, cafe, exhibition space, auditorium, and state of the art ‘urban theater’. By 2011 it was clear that the appropriate step would be relocating to a landmark position in the city, One Spadina Crescent, thus launching a two-phased approach to renovate and expand the iconic structure formerly known as Knox College. A rare circle that interrupts Toronto’s grid at the intersection of the city and the University, One Spadina Crescent is a highly visible site that provides magnificent views south, straight down to the lake. The new building will more than double the school’s facilities from 73,000 (existing) to 156,000 square feet, at a site with the capacity for future growth. The site and Knox College building have had a long history that eventually led it to a state of dilapidation. One Spadina has been in succession a green prospect, a religious cloister, medical laboratories, and is now being reincarnated as a school devoted to design and the kinds of creative industries that are today making Toronto an internationally recognized capital of culture and commerce.


As befits a school devoted to architecture, landscape, art and urban design as cosmopolitan enterprises, the building has become a think-¬tank where students of many disciplines collaborate on the toughest problems facing 21st-century cities. The renewed Circle includes amenities and pedagogical moments for both students and the public with improved circulation for pedestrians and cyclists. An Interior Street on the ground floor links all the public functions –Galleries, Library, Principal Hall, and Café with the city fabric. The large principal hall has already hosted several large lectures and events. The hall is dramatically punctuated by a series of openings to ancillary spaces with lounges, crit rooms, and bleacher seating which has produced a highly collaborative “heart” to the building. The workshop/fabrication labs house advanced technologies for metal, wood, photographic, waterjet, laser, 3D printing, plotting, and robotic fabrication, that are advancing students’ technical abilities. A conservatory-like design studio on the top floor offers a column-free hall, where the students have a new platform for collaborative work. The ceiling is its own landscape, a part of the structural, lighting and water drainage systems. (Collected stormwater is satisfying 100% of the building’s irrigation needs.). The roof features an expansion of the Faculty’s award-winning state-of-the-art Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory (GRIT Lab) where an interdisciplinary group of researchers has established a series of projects to study the materials and techniques that improve the benefits of green roofs in the North American, urban climate.

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