University Of Toronto Mississauga William G. Davis Building, Phase 1
Kearns Mancini is dedicated to producing high quality designs, on time and on budget. The William G. Davis building renovation is a prime example of our achievements in these areas.
When tasked with the renovation of the Brutalist ‘mega structure,’ Kearns Mancini sought to infuse spaces with natural light and colour, through the implementation of domed skylights to increase the amount of sunlight in the building, as well as clerestory skylights, which are designed to trap in heat for the winter, and keep heat out during the summer.
These environmental innovations are a reflection of the University of Toronto Mississauga’s “Grow Smart, Grow Green” philosophy.
Gross Project Area
35,300 sq. ft.
University of Toronto Mississauga
Jonathan Kearns, Peter Ng, Wayne Austin, Mark Ojascastro, Danny Pressacco
Award of Honour, Best of Year Interior Design Award | 2011
Kearns Mancini converted the former library block at the University of Toronto Mississauga, W.G. Davis Building into classrooms, faculty, campus security and administrative offices. This LEED® Gold renovation incorporates the entire third floor of the former library block.
As the building has a large floor plate, one of the design objectives was to maximize daylight opportunities. To fulfill that objective, the plan incorporates skylights in several areas, maximizing natural light sources while minimizing the need for artificial lighting.
The renovation also includes the addition of a corridor that is wide enough to serve as a venue for a wide variety of university events and exhibits. A two-story naturally-lit atrium filled with greenery adds to the height of the space. The main corridor is enhanced with new interior features and gives many inboard departments direct access to the main student circulation Galleria. In an area adjacent to the atrium there is a kitchenette and lounge and a main conference room for the Vice President and Principal.
Overall, the project is a highly finished, expertly detailed interior renovation. Superior materials are used throughout the space and the design is integrated with existing facilities. In addition, the lighting and material strategy helps establish a new identity for the Department of Geography and Sociology, while aligning with the University’s desire for building infrastructures that promote ecologically-sound approaches. The ultimate intent of these design strategies have been to ameliorate the health and dynamism of the Campus.
Sections through Building
Section through Clerestory
The University procured a design and construction management team to guide the renovation from beginning to end. This ensured a strict schedule that was both flexible and controlled. The construction management team was able to strip away the existing building skin to ensure that there were no hidden expenses. This minimized legal disputes, which, in turn, played a key role in the successful delivery of the project.
The design maximizes daylight opportunities to punctuate the building’s large floor plate. Skylights in several areas act as natural light sources which minimize the need for artificial lighting, while also minimizing life-cycle costs. A two-story naturally lit atrium, filled with greenery, adds to the height of spaces throughout the building. The main corridor is enhanced with new interior features and gives many inboard departments direct access to the main student circulation galleria.
The renovation also included circulation space of sufficient width to serve as a venue for a wide variety of university events and exhibits.
The brutalist character of the existing building was sensitively maintained, inasmuch as it formed the ground against which complementary elements were introduced, rather than interruptions in materiality.
Kearns Mancini sought to bring natural light inboard, into a deep floor plate, to complement a revised plan layout in which Administrative offices and the Sociology and Geography departments were located on the plan in an advantageous way; adjusting the placement of programmatic elements according to usage patterns. The largest of the atria acts as a node, through which various departments are accessed.
Smaller skylights were used along ancillary corridors, which plays off the glass walls that define each office along the corridor. These translucent channel glass walls serve to admit light into offices, while animating the relationship between spaces. The Brutalist character of the existing building was sensitively maintained, inasmuch as it formed the ground against which complementary elements were introduced, rather than interruptions in materiality.
Kearns Mancini ensured that the W.G. Davis building Phase 1 renovation would provide for a work environment that would set a standard for future renovations to the remaining portions of the large building. The renovation advocates a sensitive approach that aligns a sustainable design approach with the University’s “Grow Smart, Grow Green” philosophy.
Kearns mancini designed skylights to increase the amount of sunlight in the building, which also trap in heat for the winter, and keep heat out during the summer. These environmental innovations are a reflection of the university of toronto mississauga’s “grow smart, grow green” philosophy.
Awards & Recognition
Best Of Year Interior Design Award
If I had realized how wonderful this space was to be, I would have extended my term to enjoy fully my spectacular new office.
Principal Academic, University of Toronto Mississauga
As I mentioned and as I told Peter Ng, we are thrilled with the realization of the original concepts (which I still think is more difficult to do than a new building) and the execution of the design. The design, workmanship and finishes are things to be proud of and that we will enjoy for years to come.
Chief Administrative Officer, University of Toronto Mississauga
I wanted to express how thrilled I am at the realization of the vision by Peter and the KMA team. In its built form, the renovation makes clear what a wonderful attention to detail our architects brought to this project. The splashes of colour, abundant greenery of the atrium, light suffused throughout the spaces, changes in flooring and wall surfaces, indirect lighting, and all of the touches make this a superb space in which to work.
Vice-Principal Academic and Dean, University of Toronto Mississauga