Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U) is a Toronto based educational institute established in 1876 by the Ontario Society of Artists. It is the first institute in Canada for the education of professional artists in fine and commercial art. This institute has major branches like Art, Design, Illustration, Film, and Photography.
Creative City Campus (CCC) aims to give a new look and form with the expansion of the institution’s core creative spaces on McCaul Street. This project includes approximately 50,000 square feet of newly constructed portion and 95,000 square feet of the renovation project. After a long selection process of planning and design, OCADU selects Morphosis, Teeple, and Two Row Architect for the design and construction of the project.
The project involves expansion and redevelopment of historic George Reid House, studio spaces and Art and Design Library for future, construction of learning spaces in Sharp Centre for Design, creation of Indigenous Visual Culture Centre, Grange Park Room and Student Commons and development of a Centre for Experiential Learning.
The planning of the campus has many targets to be dealt with. With the conservation of the heritage of George Reid House, the present campus is also to be expanded. To increase community engagement and to revitalize the spaces the design solution is approached.
The Sharp Center is one of the main buildings with high stilts, colorful façade, and it looks like a table designed by Frank Gehry. And the second structure, Art Gallery of Ontario is designed and maintained by several architects over time. During the CCC design process Thom Mayne said “Between two buildings that have strong characteristics, there wants to be a third thing. Does it call for a third icon? Or does it become much more neutral?”. So, the design will enable the public interaction with the Library and Indigenous Visual Culture & Student Center which will give the students a set of learning spaces and a place of social learning.
The planning of the campus is based on the implementation of OCAD University’s mission and Academic Plan. There are four mission statements for the academic plan for 2017-22 which will guide the students for a better future. The mission statements are “Audacious and Responsible Pursuit”, “The Powerful Interplay of Art, Design, Social Sciences, Humanities, and Science”, “Building Generous and Joyful Communities”, and “The Questions of Our Time”.
The design focuses on implementing the core values like sustainability, diversity, inclusivity, indigeneity, invention, entrepreneurship, and heritage. Its main goal is to make a contemporary, healthy, accessible, and creative learning environment for the students and also to give them full access to technology-enabled studio-based, experiential, and collaborative learning.
2. Materials/ Construction
The expansion and redevelopment parts are constructed during vacation time so that they have minimum effect on academic seasons and the classrooms are shifted and few are rescheduled for the construction purpose. The construction of the new building is scheduled from early 2020 and expected to end by 2022.
The redevelopment is done for more natural light and visibility. New LED lighting, new heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC), new dust collection units, better controls, and significantly improved layouts are the steps taken for redevelopment purposes. Interior exposure to daylight in the Sharp Center is provided by perimeter glazing.
The George Reid House is upgraded by improving building systems and the building envelope to reduce the energy loads and its overall performance. The main staircase and the interior finishing are also made for refurbishment.
The design approach is very simple, the Sharp Center is a major landmark of the place so the engagement of the people is high. So to incorporate collaborative study with people the building is designed for protected public space for community gatherings, enriched spaces programs, welcoming, and enhancing library and Indigenous Visual Culture Centre, enhancing McCaul Street cultural corridor, and connectivity to Grange Park.