With B+H Architects
The competition-winning design for the renovation and expansion of the historic Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto responds directly to the client’s ambition to create a law school among the finest in the world. The redevelopment called for significant upgrades to disparate buildings that house the Faculty including Flavelle House, a heritage building, and the addition of significant program elements to ensure the University of Toronto remains Canada’s preeminent law school.
The design responds with three simple gestures: a crescent-shaped classroom and office wing overlooking Queen’s Park, the renovation of an outmoded library as a luminous pavilion connecting to Philosophers’ Walk. The creation of a unifying gathering space, the Law Forum, will bring a new heart to the Faculty.
Working from the insight that the quality of the social network and unified sense of community are the most important advantages a law school can confer upon its students, the Law Forum answers the need for a galvanizing social space to bring students and faculty together in a central space, permitting the previously fragmented faculty to function as a unified, coherent community. In addition, the new design carefully weaves the history of the existing buildings with a contemporary vision of community while providing the School with much needed additional space.
The Faculty’s prominent location required a sensitive design response that connects the site to the surrounding public realm. The design of the new building takes advantage of the School’s site by introducing new physical and visual connections with both Queen’s Park and Philosopher’s Walk, embedding the Faculty into the cohesive campus system and rendering it an integral part of the cityscape.
The scheme creates an institutional landmark that will accommodate and augment the faculty’s historic buildings, engage and inspire members of our community, and reflect a commitment to leading-edge environmental sustainability and physical accessibility, while playing an important part in the architecture of the city.