Joseph L. Rotman School of Management Expansion, University of Toronto
In 2007 the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto launched an architectural competition for an addition. It had outgrown its 1995 home located alongside historic houses, churches, and academic buildings on the university's downtown campus.
The winning submission, by Toronto-based KPMB Architects, represents the school's ideals of community and integrative thinking in physical form. The 150,000-square-foot, LEED Silver'certified vertical facility doubles the size of the school. It adds an event hall, classrooms, offices, and a library, as well as conference and hospitality areas, in a glazed four-story slab structure topped by a five-story tower.
Architects Bruce Kuwabara and Marianne McKenna tackled the complex site by fusing the addition with the existing Rotman building. They linked corridors and public areas, while adding space above and below grade, with classrooms around a sunken court. They also integrated an 1890 mansion, which remains intact, for the school's Ph.D. program.
'We're basically applying integrative-design thinking to the Rotman,' Kuwabara says. 'Everything we're adding is complementary to what is there.' Most notably, the pre-existing building has a large atrium; the addition does not. Instead, it has a broad snaking stairway that connects to the extant atrium and serves as a gathering place for students and faculty. Punctuated by vibrant magenta sidewalls, the stair is like a bright pocket square in the building's tightly detailed gray suit. Its wide, shallow treads invite informal conversation, which the architects wanted to encourage to support the school's emphasis on interdisciplinary, lateral thinking.
The new building won a Governor-General Medal in Architecture, a biannual award for Canadian architects. The bold addition and its demonstrative central stair are important elements in the school's branding as it builds a global reputation and raises funds. The school's events team, which hosts public lectures and forums, saw its revenues increase by 15 percent in the first year. Its Exchange caf' has catered hundreds of events and doubled its sales since last year. Finally, the 400-seat main event hall'a glazed box situated one level above the street'has a utilization rate of 80 percent. This highly visible venue, with a terrace and green roof, communicates the Rotman School's openness to the community. It also provides spectacular views for its occupants out toward Canada's financial capital. Alex Bozikovic
Architect: KPMB Architects ' Bruce Kuwabara, design partner; Marianne McKenna, partner in charge; Luigi LaRocca, principal in charge
Engineers: Halcrow Yolles (structural); Smith & Andersen (mechanical/electrical)
Consultants: BVDA Group (building envelope); Janet Rosenberg + Associates (landscape)
General Contractor: Eastern Construction Company
Client: University of Toronto
Size: 150,000 square feet
Construction Cost: $60 million
Completion date: June 2012
Alex Bozikovic is the architecture critic at The Globe and Mail, Canada's national newspaper.
Formal name of building:
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Total construction cost:
Architect's firm name, address, phone, and fax number:
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Bruno Weber, John Peterson, Janice Wong, Richard Wong, Victor Garzon, Lilly Liaukus, Bryn Marler, Rachel Stecker, Maryam Karimi, Carolyn Lee, Danielle Sucher, Laura Carwardine
Engineers (structural, civil, mechanical, etc.):
Demountable partitions: Movable wall: Dorma - Modernfold and Moveo
Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Art Magic Carpentry and MCM 2001
Floor and wall tile (cite where used):
Special interior finishes unique to this project: Movable wall: Dorma - Modernfold and Moveo Decorative glass panels/partitions: Albion Glass and Unifor Window treatments: Sun Project TackBoard: FORBO
Storage systems (manufacturers and dealers)
Reception desk: Custom Millwork by Art Magic
Upholstery: Maharam, Edelman leather, Knoll
Other furniture (use additional sheet if necessary):
Reception desk: Custom Millwork by Art Magic
Task lighting: Lim Task Light Haworth (at Offices only)
Add any additional building components or special equipment that made a significant contribution to this project:
Planters, accessories (manufacturers): Etikka planters 9th floor - Woeller Signage (fabricator): Acumen Visual Group Inc.