superkül was delighted to have been selected to design a student centre for the University of Toronto’s St. George campus. This new centre, named the ‘Student Commons’, will integrate many of the student spaces and services currently dispersed across the campus.
The project includes the renovation and extension of an early 20th century building on a prominent corner of the University’s urban campus. Originally built for the Royal College of Dental Surgeons (1909), the building has most recently been occupied by the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design. Its redesign as the new Student Commons respects the historic brick-and-limestone exterior while transforming the building into a welcoming, accessible and outward-looking place. When complete, the Commons will deliver programming, community space and essential services for students – under student governance, management and operation.
Collaborating with the Student Union enabled the design team to deliver unique and functional design solutions. A strong focus on cultural, physical and social inclusivity was a prime design driver. Key goals include creating a welcoming and universally accessible space, increasing connectivity throughout the building, and creating flexible space that can be deployed by student groups in different ways.
A reorientation of the building on an east-west axis with the relocation of the main entrance to grade provides universal access, as does the inclusion of flexible multipurpose rooms and a universally accessible support kitchen and computing facilities. Offices and meeting rooms are complemented by a variety of lounge and breakout spaces, food services and storage spaces, all programmed for optimal adjacencies and to engender collaboration and community.
The project is slated to begin construction in Summer 2017.