The Design Observer Group


Posted 06.17.13


University of Toronto

One Spadina Crescent



North Face, New Edition

The University of Toronto will undertake a major project at One Spadina Crescent: a new complex for the university's Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. When complete, the complex — the largest architecture school expansion ever undertaken in Canada — will be a focal point for education, research and outreach on how to build more sustainable, beautiful, and socially just cities.

Professor Richard Sommer, Dean of the Daniels Faculty, explains it this way: “The project will consolidate U of T’s architecture, art, and urban design programs within one precinct, and provide a bridge from the University to the dynamic neighborhoods beyond.”

The expansion of the historic structure will emphasize sustainable design and creative urbanism. A new exterior composed of glass, stone and steel will preserve views of the existing building’s turrets, while a contoured roof will harvest rainwater and bathe the interior in natural light. The complex will include collaborative studio spaces, an advanced fabrication lab, an auditorium  for events, and a public gallery. The complex will also provide an expanded site for the school's Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory (a.k.a. the GRIT Lab). Surrounding pavilions will house research initiatives including the Global Cities Institute, a new Institute for Architecture and Human Health, and the Model Cities Theatre and Laboratory.

The new complex is designed by Nader Tehrani, principal of NADAAA, and his collaborator Katie Faulkner. The Toronto firm Public Work, founded by Marc Ryan and Adam Nicklin, is collaborating on the landscape design. Adamson Associates and ERA Architects are also part of the larger team serving as executive and preservation architects, respectively.

To watch a video about the Daniels Faculty and the One Spadina project, click here.


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