Perkins+Will has won a competition to design York University’s new building for the School of Continuing Studies. The building will be located at the Keele Campus, in the North York district of Toronto, Canada. The leading architecture firm’s proposal was selected between entries by other renowned practices, like HOK and Gow Hastings Architects with Henning Larsen.
The winning design features a twisting form with a prismatic façade which responds to its context and acts as a landmark for the campus’s South East entrance. It also comprises a new landscaped public space and a drop-off for passengers to facilitate movement.
Perkins+Will aspired to promote the sense of belonging to the school by introducing naturally-lit and interconnected spaces to the new building. Such inviting spaces allow for social interaction between students, and they are further capable of holding community-oriented events.
“The dramatic form is a calculated response to the campus public realm, patterns of student movement, and the optimization of solar orientation,” explains the firm. “The design balances the needs of the school itself, the larger campus, and the planet, setting a new standard for sustainability, design excellence, and student experience on Canadian campuses.”
The building is planned to acquire at least a Gold LEED certification. Accordingly, it encompasses a set of sustainable features, like photovoltaic cells, incorporated into the façade, to generate the building’s own electricity. That is in addition to a heat recovery ventilation system and a building envelope which meets Passive House Standards. Both, Perkins+Will and York University are also considering the use of mass timber as a base for the building’s structural system. All these efforts shall contribute to minimizing carbon emission and energy consumption by the new building.
The School of Continuing education offers its students a combination of continuing professional education and English Language Support. Although it was founded only three years ago, it is now considered one of Canada’s most successful educational institutes of the kind.
“This new building will enable us to create even more lifelong learning opportunities, build connections with local and international communities, and help students of all ages and backgrounds to achieve their fullest potential,” commented York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda Lenton.