Mississauga Academy of Medicine

ARCHITECT Kongats Architects
LOCATION University of Toronto, Mississauga, Ontario

The new Mississauga Academy of Medicine (MAM) at the University of Toronto Mississauga will accommodate teaching and research facilities for the new medical program to be based out of the Mississauga campus. The campus is home to several recent and important buildings that have been recognized for their excellence in design: the Student Centre; the Communications, Culture and Technology Building; the Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre; and Erindale Hall.

The MAM is the first of three proposed new buildings within the University of Toronto Mississauga’s South Campus. These three buildings, together with the constructed Hazel McCallion Learning Centre and CCT Building, will define a new academic quad for the campus. The MAM is situated on sloped terrain rising up from the outer campus defined by Ring Drive, and will landmark the entrance to the proposed academic quad. The shifting floor plates of the MAM accentuate the soft landscape to the east, south and west, while the Health Science Centre’s north face in its vertical uniformity provides a more formal faade to the academic quad. The faceted faades of stainless steel will capture both natural and ambient artificial light, ensuring its landmark presence is articulated day and night.

The innovative design provides an iconic image for this newest branch of the University of Toronto’s Academy of Medicine that exemplifies the faculty’s high level of education and professionalism in the fields of medicine and research. The program for the new Academy of Medicine includes video conference-ready lecture theatres and a studio, classrooms, seminar rooms, faculty offices and an instructional laboratory. The lecture theatres and studio will be connected to the University of Toronto St. George Medical Sciences Building, Trillium Health Centre and Credit Valley Hospital for shared lectures and communication. The new facility will also house the faculties of Biomedical Communications, Anthropology and Forensics, including faculty offices, studios and research laboratories.

A skin of glass and undulating stainless steel fins wrap a series of stacked “boxes” that step up the existing hill of the site. These boxes enlarge and shrink from floor to floor to suit the program requirements, with a focus on maximizing views and access to daylight. The residual interstitial outdoor spaces created between the stacked boxes will accommodate accessible terraces and indigenously planted roof gardens with protective overhangs for the occupants on each floor. The project is currently under construction, and will be open for classes in the Fall of 2011.

JC: The development of the glass skin and undulating stainless steel fins is the most interesting aspect of this project.

AK: At its essence, this project is a tough program box with a delicate skin. It effectively achieves what great architecture often aspires to: understanding and assessing a complex and challenging program to the degree that a great building can emerge. This project is defined by very clear, nuanced and beautiful formal and tectonic strategies. Its completeness is evidenced by its structural strategies, its spatial sequencing, and most succinctly in the articulation of its skin. It ultimately acts as a very serious object in a context that is perhaps a bit too architecturally self-conscious, showing the depth that the discipline can achieve without flourish or whimsy.

JL: The stainless steel crenellated fins in contrast to the curtain wall is a beautiful moment in the scheme. However, this is one of the submissions that suffered from a lack of information both with the graphic material and the text. It made it virtually impossible for the jury to independently verify the architect’s assertions about such items as innovation and site appropriateness.

Client University of Toronto
Architect Team Alar Kongats, Danielle Lam-Kulczak, Philip Toms, Dieter Jensen, Dave Sasaki, Alessia Soppelsa, Sukie Leung, Andrea Ling, Derek McCallum, Tyler Walker, Steven Addeo, Eric van Ziffle, Tymea Sarkozy
Structural Halsall Associates Limited
Mechanical/Electrical Crossey Engineering Ltd.
Landscape Corban and Goode
Interiors Kongats Architects
Contractor Harbridge + Cross Limited
Site Services MBM Consulting Inc.
Acoustics Engineering Harmonics
Laboratory Watson MacEwen Teramura Architects
Code Consultant Randal Brown & Associates Ltd.
Project Manager PMX Inc.
Area 64,155 ft2
Budget $25 M
Completion March 2011