The newest addition to the University of Toronto's collection of impressive architectural showpieces will soon arrive in the form of a nine-storey student building on U of T's St. George campus, designed by world-renowned architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro - the firm behind New York City's High Line and Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art. The building will be located at 90 Queen's Park Crescent, and is intended to serve as Toronto's most recently-constructed landmark.
The new centre will also house various academic units from the Faculty of Arts & Science, such as History, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, the Institute of Islamic Studies, part of the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies, and the Archaeology Centre.
It will be the new home to the School of Cities, a world-leading centre for innovative and interdisciplinary urban research, education, and engagement.
Facilities for the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Music will also be housed in the building, along with designated classrooms, public spaces, and space to be used by the Royal Ontario Museum.
Perhaps the most impressive space within the building is the centre's music recital hall, framed by a large, south-facing window overlooking the Toronto skyline and serves as a show-stopping backdrop. A 400-seat event space is situated just above the hall, as well as a café on the ground floor and a multi-storey atrium, all sharing the recital hall's spectacular view.
U of T's President Meric Gertler has commented on the announcement of the building's construction, "This stunning architectural landmark will provide the University of Toronto with an invaluable opportunity to create a meeting space for scholars and the wider city around us. It also gives the School of Cities a permanent home for its urban-focused research, educational and outreach initiatives."
But the University of Toronto promises that the views from outside the building will be just as impressive, especially when driving or walking northbound along Queen's Park Crescent.
The location of the building functions as a connection between Toronto's cultural corridor with the university and represents a new addition to Toronto's developing creative community.
"The edges of the campus and its borders with the city are the places where you engage the community and the vibrancy of the city of Toronto," says Gilbert Delgado, U of T’s chief of university planning, design and construction. "When you have buildings that are at these edges, it's particularly important that they have programming that produces a platform for public exchange."