Historic UTM building undergoes context-sensitive renovation

The Meeting Place at the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), located in the heritage-status William G. Davis Building, underwent a challenging renovation, sensitive to the historical context of the building.

Led by Moriyama & Teshima Architects, the project’s scope of work included small additions to the existing William G. Davis Building, interior renovations to the Meeting Place, and back-of-house renovations to kitchen and food service areas. The total gross floor area of additions and renovations was 3,600 m2 (38,900 sf), and the total seat count for the eating area was increased to 900 seats from the previous 400, with 60 seats on an exterior patio.

Working with the restrictions and regulations that come with a heritage building, such as the William G. Davis Building, was a key challenge. The property is designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act and listed in the Heritage Register as part of the Mississauga Scenic Route Cultural Landscape. To address the much-needed updates to the accessibility standards in the building, the design team applied creative and innovative solutions. A clean and bold architectural expression was developed for the new addition to complement the existing building’s language, while incorporating barrier-free accessibility.

The renovation plan integrated a strategy of forming defined zones through a layout of furniture and millwork, delineating clear program edges while providing a light, open, spatial experience. The design team used a variety of flexible and durable furniture to allow a variety of activity zones, such as high-activity, large-group seating areas, and individualized seating in adjacent zones. An overall clean, orthogonal space planning and partition design contrast and balance the meandering organization of the existing heritage building.

Innovative changes to the existing ceiling structure and hardware included upgrades to lighting conditions. The Meeting Place was redesigned with a wood ceiling which permits natural light, warming and refreshing the interior, while allowing code-required sprinkler systems to be integrated.


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