Canadian Architect

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Erindale Hall Student Residence

May 1, 2006
by Canadian Architect

A number of objectives are achieved in this residence at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus. First and foremost, the design engenders an all-important sense of collegiality and social interaction for postsecondary students away from home for the first time. As a place of transition and a new home for students, the 200-bed residence is designed to enrich the quality of individual student experience and to facilitate the process of higher learning.

The building takes its geographical context seriously, advancing both micro and macro environmental objectives in its northern landscape. Consequently, in order to minimize the impact on the environmentally sensitive landscape, the building bends and undulates to accommodate these conditions.

A serpentining wall comprised of glass and massive stone panels defines one side of an exterior protected colonnade which forms a significant portion of the main campus pedestrian route, and also serves as a focus for social interaction. An elongated plan articulates the “main street” of the campus, with a single-loaded bar containing three storeys of suites over the colonnade. Towers of clustered units plug into glazed corridors on the opposite side of this bar, with gaps between them allowing clear views through the building.

Units overlooking the pedestrian route are arranged linearly with living room windows grouped to form large inset openings that interrupt the regular rhythm of the bedroom windows. Cluster units on the opposite side of the building feature large corner windows stacked vertically to form towers of glass cut into masonry masses. They overlook activities in the courtyards formed between the clusters as well as the wetland beyond.

Julien De Smedt: The obvious quality of the ground-floor integration with the site is primarily why the jury chose to award Erindale Hall a medal. The meandering gallery skilfully addresses the problematic length of the building and highlights the various entrances and programs that fill the ground floor. It manages to inject a subtle variety into a typology that is commonly understood as monotonous and strictly linear. Here the linearity is sequential, with contextual relations to the landscape and the programs above. The residence offers good living quarters and generous common spaces, as well as simple but effective finishes.

Architect Baird Sampson Neuert Architects

Location Mississauga, Ontario

Client Chris Mcgrath, University of Toronto

Architect Team Barry Sampson, Jon Neuert, George Baird, Colin Ripley, Seth Atkins, Jed Braithwaite, Jennifer Barker, Adam Blakeley, Yves Bonnardeaux, Mauro Carreno, Ian Douglas, Anne Lok, John Peterson, Olga Pushkar, Ali Saneinjad, Geoff Thun, Jose Uribe-Pabon

Structural Yolles Partnership Inc.

Mechanical/Electrical Crossey Engineering Ltd.

Landscape Janet Rosenberg + Associates Landscape Architects

Quantity Surveyor Vermeulens Cost Consultants

Geotechnical Shaheen + Peaker Ltd.

Building Envelope Dr. Ted Kesik

Specifications Brian Ballantyne Specifications

Surveyor Speight Van Nostrand and Gibson

Contractor Ledcor Construction Limited

Area 6,400 M2

Budget $10.75 M

Completion August 2003




Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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