The University of Toronto St. George Campus is home to various historic buildings. Many of which integrate new renovations into pre-existing features of the original architecture. There is something inspirational and uplifting about studying in these buildings. Thus, reinforcing the notion that architecture acts as a catalyst to human experience. In recent years, one of the most notable buildings on campus to receive such innovative renovation is home to the architecture faculty.
The architecture students finally have an integral foundation to identify with and a place of morale. After years of planning, the location at 1 Spadina Crescent opened in 2017, officially home to the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. Alongside recent modifications to its interior and exterior structures, the building is rich in history and inspiring students who are building the future. You should visit 1 Spadina Crescent during your time at the University of Toronto.
1) The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design hosts lectures by various professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape, and design.
These lectures take place in the new Architecture and Design Gallery or the Main Hall at 1 Spadina Crescent. The Main Hall is a large lecture hall that, among many locations in the building, is beautiful. Even before this new building opened, the Faculty of Architecture was known for hosting major guest speakers and lecturers — some who are renowned for their work in the field of architecture, landscape, and design. For those who really appreciate architecture, what if you realize that you’re sitting in the same lecture hall as a famous architect? You may even get the chance to ask them questions, which is a big deal!
Also, the Architecture and Design Gallery is a major attraction when it comes to special exhibitions. If you enjoy film screenings and built curated works, this is a great place to explore. The current 2020 exhibit is very experiential where you are submerged into an exploration-based setting, encouraging you to navigate and reflect upon what you are experiencing. Visit their website for more information on lecture series events and design exhibits.
2) The John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design has become a popular place to take photos.
This may sound like a funny fact to mention, but it’s true. While the architecture fascinates architecture students, who naturally love to photograph architectural elements, the location has also become a hot spot for selfies, group photos, and artistic angles.
If you search the building on Instagram, you will find countless examples of people documenting the exploration of this building. The building is located on the island of a busy intersection — surrounded by streetcars, vehicle traffic, and pedestrians. Basically, the architects transformed a small space into a building with so much depth.
Also, bring your camera and take photos! On the north face of the building, you’ll notice a large glass facade that reflects the surrounding context in the glass panels. On the south face (the one that faces Toronto lakeshore), you’ll see a combination of old and new symmetries that guide your eyes along each corner. As you drive around the crescent, you realize how the building visually plays with the theme of flowing traffic. Additionally, the landscape is interesting — it crawls vertically on built fixtures, which you’ll notice in the spring and summer months. The building appears as a fortress and the inside is quite the experience too. So, be sure to check it out.
3) What about the graduate studio?
You should visit the graduate studio and climb the wooden stairway seating. Here, you will walk towards a huge ceiling with soaring elements that open up to the skylight. The ceiling is a spectacular highlight of this studio space because the span of view outside enhances the open concept and clever use of natural light. As always, please be respectful of the studio space, as it is a busy setting with serious work going on. It would be best to visit after exams or when the studio is calmer. Either way, it is gorgeous.
4) If you need a place to quietly study or reflect on architecture, you should visit the Eberhard Zeidler Library at the Daniels Faculty.
While the library downstairs has a great collection, students mention that the lighting can be a little gloomy (you would be studying in a place with no direct sunlight or windows). However, this library is a great place to study quietly overall.
5) Build a good architectural model using the resources at the Model Workshop.
Of course, if this is not your thing, you can always visit and see what goes on in the Model Workshop! Basically, there’s a laser cutting machine, waterjet cutter, 3D printers, and equipment that architects and architecture students use to build their work. It is best to visit the front desk before you try to walk into the workshop, as this may not be permitted for students outside of the faculty. Alternatively, you could visit the annual open house to explore this area of fabrication, model building, and more.
Hopefully, you visit the faculty and see just how amazing it is! For information on architecture courses, click here.