Design team selected for much-anticipated tall wood building in Toronto

George Brown College in Toronto has selected Moriyama & Teshima Architects + Acton Ostry Architects to design The Arbour, its tall wood campus building slated for the city’s waterfront. It will be one of Ontario’s first tall wood, low-carbon institutional buildings.

The team’s design for The Arbour features breathing rooms—employing solar chimney systems to capture and harness light and air for sustainable natural ventilation. The building design also offers flexibility of learning spaces, enabling walls to expand and contract as needed, as well as a “made in Canada” approach using nationally-sourced mass wood components.

Last fall, the college launched an international design competition among the firms uniquely qualified to undertake such a project. Four finalists presented their design concepts last week at a public presentation. Click here for photos and details of the short-listed designs.

In selecting the winning design, the jury said the concept excelled across all aspects of the selection criteria including:

  • innovative use of wood throughout;
  • excellent energy use making the building resilient and future-proof;
  • exquisite space planning supporting a range of classroom, lab, and other academic needs; and
  • spaces that will have a strong resonance with students and the broader East Bayfront community.

“Congratulations to the teams at Moriyama & Teshima Architects + Acton Ostry Architects,” said Anne Sado, president of George Brown College. “The Arbour is destined to become a landmark in the city, driving forward advancements in sustainable innovation and green buildings throughout Canada. We hope this building will serve as an example on how we can incorporate sustainability into all aspects of our lives, including where we learn, work, and play.”

The Arbour will cost approximately $130 million to build. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021.

Once complete, The Arbour will host Canada’s first Tall Wood Research Institute, allowing students and researchers to generate innovative ideas and research in low-carbon, mass timber construction. It will also become home to the college’s School of Computer Technology, and a new child care facility.

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