Located in one of Toronto’s most iconic and highly trafficked buildings, the client was faced with a challenging space. The large floor plate and acoustic tile ceilings, that blocked the top portion of the perimeter windows, created a dark and unwelcoming space.
As a response, the acoustic tile ceiling was removed and large circular light features were cut in to the ceiling giving the allusion of natural light penetrating the interior of the space.
Donna Dolan, Kevin Khou
Inspired by the program’s philosophy, Ryerson University commissioned an art piece that would serve as an analogous representation of the students’ journey. Through a highly collaborative process, Coda was created. The design team worked closely on the concept and execution with photographer Grant Te Brugge. The images entitled “Transitions” follows the seasonal transformations of the Canadian forest. Overlaid on the graphic are the cast acrylic sculptures designed by artist Kal Mansur. Coda is defined as “the concluding passage of a piece or movement, typically forming an addition to a basic structure.” Each word is represented by an acrylic sculpture that is an abstracted form of Canadian symbolism.
At the outset, a feasibility study was conducted that allowed the client and the design team to understand the space and develop a design that would meet REAL Institute’s requirements. The primary challenge of this project was that the client needed the space to accommodate the anticipated growth of the program while maintaining a welcoming and homey space for the students.
As a result, large flexible spaces were designed around the perimeter with a student hub strategically placed at the centre of the floorplate. Clusters of circular seating, tables and risers create a flexible space that students can use for lounging and studying between classes. The use of vibrant colours and patterns create a warm and welcoming environment for both the students and the faculty. The design incorporates commercial elements such as garage doors, operable partitions, bamboo benches and shape-shift furniture.
One of they key challenges of this project was to provide the impression of a brand new facility within an existing building without removing any of the existing elements. The result is an exquisite space adorned in rich colours and textures with a custom designed light fixture as its primary focal point.
An addition and renovation to an existing building at the University of Waterloo, Kearns Mancini's design of the new Health Services Building successfully establishes a dialogue between the existing and the new through building massing and transparency, while also leveraging programmatic elements within the entire building complex.
The Microsatellite Science & Technology Centre (MSTC) for the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies (UTIAS) is a networking hub for Canadian researchers developing nanotechnology and microsatellites for use in space.