The program required that the delineation between public and secure areas should be blurred at the ground floor level so that all the buildings would have accessible atrium spaces open to the general public.
Ryerson University is a public research university located in downtown Toronto. Its urban campus surrounds the Yonge-Dundas Square, located at the busiest intersection in downtown Toronto. The University has a focus on applied, career-oriented education and has a student body composed of 36,000+ undergraduate students, 2,300+ graduate students, and 65,000+ yearly certificate and continuing education enrollments.
As part of the University’s expansion strategies, Ryerson’s Capital Projects and Real Estate Department retained Suzita Morita Inc., Gladki Planning Associates and Greenberg Consultants Inc. to conduct feasibility studies for several recently acquired sites within their campus. These studies included architectural predesign, calculation of floor areas and potential location of programmes and requirements to comply with the city’s building code, urban design and zoning bylaw requirements.
Design objectives included creating important landmark buildings that would fit with their immediate contextual surroundings. Due to programmatic restrictions, mid-rise buildings with large floor plates were preferred over the more common podium and tower approach. To avoid the superimposition of solid-massive walls over the public realm, building facades were fragmented and in some instances set back from the street. The ground floors were designed to open to the streets and thus reinforce the activities of the public realm