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Daniels Building at One Spadina Crescent by NADAAA

Daniels Building at One Spadina Crescent by NADAAA

The Daniels Building at the University of Toronto embodies a holistic approach to urban design and sustainability. As the new home for the John H. Daniels Faculty of architecture, landscape, and design, its purpose is to engage students and the broader community in dialogue about the built environment.  

Ph. Nic Lehoux   

At the center of one of Toronto’s few circular parcels, the project anchors the southwest corner of the University and opens the circle to the public after years of inaccessibility. It restores the historic and forgotten building to its original grandeur while also integrating a new addition. The North-South axis characterizes symbolic relationships to the city, while the east-west axis is activated by pedestrian traffic. 

On the western edge, a discreet arcade addresses the residential scale of the adjacent neighborhood. Meanwhile, a public plaza to the East creates a prominent relationship with the campus. The renewed site invites activity, with circulation for pedestrians and cyclists. Extensive sustainable features including a noteworthy approach to site stormwater management while simultaneously bringing a heritage building back to life.  

The design of this building presented a case where problems of pedagogy come face to face with a physical environment that is inhabited and tested daily by an audience of experts, critics, teachers, practitioners, and students, the very protagonists of the medium.  

It is perhaps one of the few occasions where the audience is engaging with the building and its authors at a higher level, making it an added challenge, and responsibility, to speak to architectural questions with a greater degree of nuance, as such the building was designed to become a pedagogical tool, integrated into the curriculum with both sustainable/design elements and school programs on display both to students and the public. 


DATE: 2018 / LOCATION: Toronto, ONT, Canada / AREA: 155,000 sf (built) / PROGRAM: Faculty facility  / STATUS: built / DESIGN: NADAAA / PRINCIPALS: Katherine Faulkner, AIA; Nader Tehrani / PROJECT MANAGERS: Richard Lee, Tom Beresford / PROJECT TEAM: John Houser, Amin Tadj, Tim Wong, Alda Black, Marta Guerra, James Juricevich, Parke Macdowell, Dane Asmussen, Laura Williams, Peter Sprowls, Noora Al Musallam, Tammy Teng, Wesley Hiatt, John Mars, Mazyar Kahali, Matthew Waxman, Luisel Zayas / ASSOCIATED ARCHITECT / ARCHITECT OF RECORD: Adamson Associates Architects / PRINCIPAL: Claudina Sula, OAA / PROJECT TEAM:  Jack Cusimano, Tina Leong, John McMillan, Martin Dolan, Zbigniew Jurkiewicz, Michael Lukachko, Zale Spodek, Gilles Leger, George Georges, Ke Leng Tran / CONSULTANTS: ERA Architects (Heritage Consultant), Entuitive Corporation (Structural), Entuitive Corporation (Building Envelope consultant), Mulvey Banani International, Inc. (Electrical / Data / AV / Lighting design), The Mitchell Partnership (Mechanical / Plumbing), Aercoustics Engineering Ltd (Acoustics), A. M. Candaras Associates, Inc. (Civil), Public Work (Landscape), Upper Canada Specialty Hardware, Ltd. (Hardware), Eastern Construction Company Ltd (Construction Manager), Daniels Faculty (Select furniture design and construction) / PHOTOS: Nic Lehoux

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