September 30, 2008
by Canadian Architect
CS&P Architects Inc.’s submission for the University of Toronto’s Huron-Willcocks Pedestrianization Charrette has been chosen as the winning entrant for the revisioning of this important campus precinct on the St. George Campus.
CS&P’s design proposal imagines the intersection as a “civic room for the university and for the city.” The intersection is extended through design and material changes to St. George Street and the surrounding buildings. Bringing together key academic, domestic, and social facilities will create a Student Commons a dynamic space of convergence where distinct landscape and pedestrian routes are reconnected. A number of design measures and new activities have been introduced such as: the greening of both streets with LED lighting; wider sidewalks and more tree planting; replacing car parking on both streets with bicycle lanes and more bike racks; converting the Lash Miller lawn to an attractive stormwater pond that can be used as a winter skating rink; enlarging and integrating the caf patio level with the street level; sloping the Sidney Smith lawn to connect with a new greened roof terrace and pergola; improving pedestrian accessibility with new ramps and bench seating; and providing seating opportunities for everyday use or special events with amphitheatre steps that connect to the terrace.
Overall, the emphasis of the plan is to create an opportunity for year-round social activity that is responsive to both student and community needs.
CS&P Architects Principal Paul Cravit states, “Our vision was to create a space that would accommodate many diverse activities, relate well to the surrounding buildings and reflect the university’s priorities of pedestrian activity and sustainable urban design initiatives.”