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OCAD University announces architectural team for Creative City Campus project


January 31, 2017
by Canadian Architect

Project Architects: Brian Porter, Thom Mayne and Stephen Teeple. Photo by Jamie McMillan.

Project Architects: Brian Porter, Thom Mayne and Stephen Teeple. Photo by Jamie McMillan.

OCAD University has announced the selection of three architectural firms to lead the design and implementation of the Creative City Campus (CCC) project: Morphosis and Teeple Architects, with Two Row Architect.

The CCC project will revitalize and expand the core of the institution’s campus along McCaul Street in Toronto, Ontario, involving approximately 55,000 sq. ft. of new construction and 95,000 sq. ft. of renovation and repurposing of existing space.

The two internationally-renowned lead firms, Morphosis and Teeple Architects, have previously collaborated over the years, sharing ideas and research. They will work with Two Row Architect, a 100 per cent native-owned and operated firm on the Six Nations in Southern Ontario, to create the Indigenous Visual Culture and Student Centre and to ensure that Indigeneity is embedded successfully throughout the project.

“Our campus expansion in the heart of Toronto’s creative district is aligned with our goal of creating a 21st century, healthy, accessible and creative environment where studio-based, experiential and collaborative learning can thrive,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, president and vice-chancellor, OCAD U. “Over its 140 year history, the institution has grown and thrived, and this project is the next step in its evolution.”

In spring 2016, OCAD U received a $27-million investment from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for the Creative City Campus project. OCAD U was also awarded $4.5 million from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF) in January 2017. The Fund is a Government of Canada program that is providing up to $2 billion to accelerate strategic construction, repair and maintenance at universities and colleges across Canada. The funds from the SIF will be used by the university to further expand and develop its growth in digital research and innovation, with $2 million to support the research, innovation and environmental sustainability of the Centre for Experiential Learning and $2.5 million allocated for Campus for the Connected World (Phase 1), part of the Creative City Campus project.

“The Ontario government is proud to support this renewal project, which will provide OCAD U students with vastly expanded and improved learning facilities,” said Han Dong, Member of Provincial Parliament, Trinity-Spadina. 

Leading edge media, technology and state-of-the-art digital fabrication will be integrated throughout the facility to enable pedagogy, as well as social interaction and new ways of thinking, making and doing.

“OCAD U is embarking on a bold campus renewal that will accelerate the university’s continued success in developing the next generation of professionals in the creative sector,” said Leslie Gales, Chair Campaign Cabinet  ̶  OCAD U, Ignite Imagination.

“Rethinking the very nature of learning space at OCAD U is the core challenge of this opportunity,” said Stephen Teeple. “How can it be organized, what spatial qualities might it possess to enhance interdisciplinary discourse and spark the imagination of creative young minds? These are the questions to be explored in the exciting design process that is about to unfold.”

OCAD U’s constant evolution is based in the belief that creativity serves a vital function in society – that imaginations have the unique power to develop real-world solutions to improve and transform lives.