The University of Toronto’s Department of Economics has been significantly extended with the addition of new offices, conference and seminar rooms, as well as study and meeting spaces for students and faculty. Toronto-based practice, Hariri Pontarini Architects, was given the design brief for the new buildings. The main constraints were the Client’s limited budget and the need to integrate new-build with the Department’s pre-existing facilities; these include an 1889 Victorian building and another 1961 construction in Georgian revival style. The programme pivots around the materiality that connects the new extension with the older brick-faced buildings. The solution is a meticulously designed glazed connecting volume on the ground and first floors. Reserved and unobtrusive, it forms an almost dematerialised bridge between the Victorian edifice and its decorative dormer windows, porches and steeply pitched gable roofs and the new geometrically linear volume. The contemporary architecture is characterized by the exacting choice of the components, nuanced hues and a distinctive juxtaposition of materials. A full-height, three-storey glazed façade faces the main road to form the new entrance to the Department. The courtyard elevations and interiors are clad in Cor-Ten steel panels, clearly referencing the adjacent brick-facade buildings both in their nuanced colour and rough textured finish. Narrow vertical windows encompass the upper two floors, lending an orderly sequence to the façades. The ground plan of the new facilities forms a large “L”-shaped building, enclosing the open court yard. Inside, the staircase, located in the north wing, has striking Cor-Ten steel parapets and wooden handrails. A second staircase is lodged in a separate, Cor-Ten-clad, parallelepiped volume standing at the end of the south wing.
|< Prev||Next >|