Toronto university could be getting a stunning new building with floating glass boxes
Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) is planning to add a new architectural jewel to its main campus.
A fresh proposal submitted on behalf of the educational institution outlines plans for TMU's Student Wellbeing Centre, a modern addition hovering above the heritage 1855-built O'Keefe House at 137 Bond Street.
TMU has brought on Hariri Pontarini Architects to design the building to principles of high sustainability, incorporating the green trend of timber-frame construction gaining popularity in Toronto.
The eight-storey building will allow the university to consolidate all of its student wellbeing spaces into a centralized location on campus, providing over 18,000 square feet of new clinical and support spaces serving student wellbeing services, along with outdoor green space and activity space.
A three-storey glazed transitional podium will buffer the heritage O'Keefe House from the new construction behind, an L-shaped massing that frames the established low-rise below.
The tower's rear facades to the south and east will feature a buff brick veneer finish similar to the masonry of the existing heritage building.
The interior-facing north and west facades will be clad in glazing with a light anodized bronze finish on the inside, while interior prefabricated wood fins mounted to the glass interior would be visible from the street.
But the highlight of the design comes in the series of cantilevered boxes projecting from the glazed facades, each topped with flat green roof features that will allow the expression of street-level landscaping to continue up the tower mass.
Inside, the building will welcome students and faculty with a central reception and check-in desk in the lobby leading to a central staircase feature connecting the first several floors.
Those projecting glass boxes occupying the fifth through seventh floors along the tower's northeast inner corner, will house spaces functioning as meeting rooms.
Its design has clearly been a work in progress for some time, as renderings clearly bear the university's former name, removed in response to growing public outcry in 2021.
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