U of T's proposed new building boasts public spaces and skyline views (RENDERINGS)

Feb 21 2019, 8:15 pm

U of T may soon be home to a nine-story building designed by world-renowned architects.

According to the University of Toronto, the new building at 90 Queen’s Park Crescent would bring academic and public spaces together, creating a “hub for urban and cultural engagement.”

The proposal, which is going to the university governance for consideration, includes designs by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the firm behind New York City’s High Line and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.

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“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,” said U of T President Meric Gertler. “It also gives the School of Cities a permanent home for its urban-focused research, educational and outreach initiatives.”

U of T proposal/ Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The architects website details the new building, saying that 90 Queen’s Park “provides an urban and cultural hub, bringing together nine previously dispersed departments — including the School of History, Music, Law, Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Islamic Studies, Jewish Studies and a home for the new School of Cities — into a single building.”

Located at the intersection of Bloor Street and Queens Park, the new structure would be a connector between the campus and its neighbouring buildings.

“It will be a building that brings a diverse grouping of folks together to advance knowledge around cities and how they can work successfully, contributing to a positive impact here in the city but also more globally,” says Scott Mabury, U of T’s vice-president, operations and real estate partnerships.

As for the design, the heart of the building will have a “dynamic central atrium and stair linking clusters of lounge spaces, study spaces and meeting rooms.”

According to the designers, this public commons fosters access and views between the disciplines, promoting a culture of collaboration.

One of the original features in the building is located on its top floor.

“Floating above neighbouring buildings within the erosion, the Centre’s 250-seat recital hall and a flexible event space provide larger gathering spaces where visitors can enjoy views of downtown Toronto,” described Diller Scofidio + Renfro of its stunning space, also shown in a rendering.

The university also said that above the hall will be a 400-seat event space with similar skyline views.

U of T rendering/Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The new U of T building will be built on the site of the McLaughlin Planetarium, which closed in 1995.

It is scheduled to break ground in 2020.