One Spadina Crescent, a prominent Gothic Revival structure first built by the Presbyterian Church in 1875, is about to undergo a $50-million transformation to become the University of Toronto‘s new John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. In charge of this revitalization project is none other than Boston architect Nader Tehrani of NADAAA, under the advising of Toronto’s Public Work and ERA Architects.
This ambitious project will not only reinvent the existing building’s south-facing profile, but it will also introduce a new 50,000 square-foot contemporary structure to the North. In total, the expansion will double the structure’s current area to 100,000 square-feet — the addition will accommodate numerous studios and fabrication labs, along with a public gallery and a 400-capacity public meeting hall.
Circling the perimeter, there will sit a selection of research venues, including the Global Cities Institute, Model Cities Theatre and Laboratory, as well as the Institute for Architecture and Human Health. For non-students, a walkway will exist in the east-west corridor as an extension of Russell Street. In terms of transportation, a new street-car stop has been a topic of discussion but has yet to be finalized.
As a part of the contemporary design, the renewed One Spadina Crescent will also be eco-friendly. The structure of glass, stone, and steel with incorporate a variety of “green” features, including an angled roof to improve irrigation and large windows accompanied by an opened north wall for natural lighting. Changes to be made to the existing landscape will consist of exchanging the decaying north parking lot for the aforementioned research pavilions.
The university believes that the entire process will be complete by 2015. To date, $45-million has been gathered in support of the One Spadina Crescent project, while an additional $5-million has been set aside for student awards when the facilities open. Of the donors, John H. Daniels and his wife Myrna Daniels are responsible for the generous donation of $24-million, which is the largest personal contribution to an architectural program in Canadian history.