ICONIC ONE SPADINA CRESCENT, 143-YEARS-OLD, NOW HOUSES U. OF T.’S ASPIRING ARCHITECTS

<PHOTO ABOVE – One Spadina when it was KNOX COLLEGE from1875-1915>

Thanks to the University of TORONTO and the foresight of John H. Daniels, the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design has a sparkling new home. The old neo-Gothic building with its spires, peaks and turrets has been thoroughly renovated and connects to a new, award-winning northern wing.

<PHOTO One Spadina under construction, Jasonzed/urbantoronto.ca>

Designed by architect James Avon Smith, a specialist in religious buildings, the structure housed the Presbyterians’ Knox College from 1875 to 1915. During World War I it reopened as the Spadina Military Hospital for wounded soldiers. Amelia Earhart was among the nurses.

<PHOTOS ABOVE – Ross Winter, architect/photographer>

When the war ended, the building was converted into provincial government offices. Then came the first calls for straightening Spadina Avenue and a proposal for a circular arena complex. Next occupant in 1943 – Connaught Laboratories, producing penicillin and training scientists and lab technicians.

Escaping demolition for the never-completed Spadina Expressway, One Spadina’s tenants included the university’s fine arts and sociology departments, a student newspaper, an eye bank, a low-level radioactive waste storage facility, and the campus parking office.

<PHOTO ABOVE – the new northern wing, now part of One Spadina The building received an Architectural Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in New York (AIANY)>

<PHOTO – © John Horner, courtesy American Institute of Architects (AIA)>

One Spadina’s Eye Bank got the attention of Matt E., a former student “I’d heard rumours about the eye bank in there and it always gave me the creeps, mainly because I just imagined some dark little room with shelves covered in disembodied eyeballs.”

The old building was also the site of one unsolved murder, and an accidental Hallowe’en death when a young woman fell off the roof.

<PHOTO ABOVE – Ross Winter, architect/photographer>

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TORONTO HAS LOST AN ‘ARCHITECTURAL FRIEND’ WITH THE DEATH OF WILL ALSOP ON MAY 12

70-year-old WILL ALSOP, the bad boy of British architecture, is best-known in TORONTO for “the flying tabletop” – that’s the Sharp Centre for Design at the Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCADU). It changed for the better McCaul Street, the surrounding neighbourhood and the city itself. <PHOTO ABOVE – REX Features>

As critic CHRISTOPHER HUME said “It also raised TORONTO’s international profile and managed to make a cold city seem cool.”

Completed under the name of Alsop’s last studio – All Design – two new TORONTO subway stations – PIONEER VILLAGE and FINCH WEST. Both have cantilevered roofs and polished exposed concrete interior walls, with bright colours throughout.

“If I were a politician,” he said in an interview, “I would make a law in every city that everything from the ground to 10 metres and higher should float and not touch the ground … The ground should be given to people and gardens, not buildings.”

WILL ALSOP’S OBITUARY in The Guardian – https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/may/13/will-alsop-obituary

PART 1 – THE ONTARIO ASSOCIATION OF ARCHITECT’S DESIGN EXCELLENCE WINNERS/2018

The O.A.A. has chosen the 2018 Design Excellence Award Winners, and three of them are in TORONTO – with some in other parts of Ontario, as well as Chile and New Jersey.
Two of this year’s TORONTO projects are below.

CASEY HOUSE is a specialized healthcare facility for those with HIV/AIDS. A new addition brings much-needed space to augment a Jarvis Street Victorian mansion.

The new structure embraces the old one, preserving its qualities and organizing day-to-day activities around a central courtyard. The open space is the heart of the facility, allowing in natural light and connecting the hospital to the outside world.

LIMELIGHT AMPHITHEATRE & BANDSHELL is the focal point of Lee Lifeson Art Park in North York. It’s named after two members of the rock band RUSH who grew up in the neighbourhood. The name connects with one of the band’s songs.

For a new public park, the client asked for a bold and unique identity that would relate to the theme of sound.
Architects: Paul Raff Studio Incorporated
Photography: Jack Landau

PART 2 – FOUR MORE DESIGN EXCELLENCE AWARD WINNERS ON THE O.A.A. LIST/2018

The Vineland Research and Innovation Centre, VINELAND in Southern Ontario, brings scientific and commercial interests under one roof. The 40,000-square-foot facility supports research, public education, and plant production.

Architects: Baird Sampson Neuert Architects Inc.
Image Credit: Richard Seck
Architectural Credit: Baird Sampson Neuert Architects Inc.

Double Duplex, TORONTO, is located in the Parkdale neighbourhood. The project is a response to the city’s need for alternative housing models within costly urban real estate. The site was split into two separate properties with a four-storey, 3,500-square-foot detached duplex residence constructed on the two sites.
Architects: Batay-Csorba Architects, Toronto, ON
Image Credit: doublespace photography

McEwen School of Architecture at Laurentian University, SUDBURY, northern Ontario, is Canada’s first new architecture school in 40 years. Its mandate is to uniquely focus education on Indigenous, Anglophone and Francophone students. The project consists of two heritage buildings, a new studio wing and a new cross-timbered library wing.
Image Credit: Bob Gundu
Architectural Credit: LGA Architectural Partners Ltd.
The 1927 Beaux Arts Wellington Building in OTTAWA with its 1959 addition, will soon become Canada’s temporary House of Commons for the next 25 years, while the original undergoes renovations on Parliament Hill. This will be the only office many parliamentarians will have during their tenure.
Architect: NORR Architects & Engineers Limited
Heritage Conservation Architect: Architecture EVOQ inc.
Images: doublespace photography

60 RICHMOND ST. E. IS DESIGNED FOR RESIDENTS IN THE RESTAURANT & HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY

Teeple Architects’ award-winning 60 Richmond Street East provides innovative, affordable housing just east of TORONTO’s Financial District.  An infill project, the building uses reclaimed materials and energy-saving strategies to keep maintenance costs down.  It also features a resident-owned and operated restaurant and training kitchen on the ground floor.

Vegetables, fruit and herbs grown on the sixth floor terrace help supply the restaurant with food.  The cut-in facade adds spark to a rather bland neighbourhood.

MASSEY COLLEGE, 4 DEVONSHIRE PLACE, IS ONE OF THE CITY’S MOST BEAUTIFUL BUILDINGS

MASSEY COLLEGE, 4 Devonshire Place, is a well-connected and financially endowed institution in downtown TORONTO.  Designed by Canadian architect, RON THOM, and opened in 1963 by Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, the College was conceived by VINCENT MASSEY, 18th Governor-General of Canada, as a “place of dignity, grace, beauty and warmth”. <PHOTOS 1 & 2 by SchwerinG/wikipedia>

The Founding Master (from 1963-1981) was Canadian journalist and author, ROBERTSON DAVIES.