Charged with transforming a sprawling cafeteria at Ryerson University into a centralized location providing admissions, enrollment, and financial services to students, Toronto-based Gow Hastings Architects focused on simplifying, organizing, and branding the space. Housed in a 1970s Brutalist building, the existing room was dark and ponderous—hardly supportive of the school’s image as a leading institution in innovation.

For the tile flooring in the 13,000-square-foot space, Gow Hastings specified the Architecture collection by Casalgrande Padana. Large-format 12 inch-by-24-inch tiles in two coordinated colors (Cool Grey and Light Grey) were installed in alternating diagonal bands that stretch across the space. The pattern helps clearly define zones for reception and administrative functions, and works to visually expand and divide the space without compromising the open floor plan.

The light, neutral tones of the floor and wall boost the light level in the Student ServiceHub as well as set off accents of vivid color used throughout the interior. Bright supergraphic signage and vibrant furnishings pop against the pale fields, resulting in a modern, animated space that conveys the contemporary identity of the university.