Schulich School of Business

Architect Hariri Pontarini Architects and Robbie/Young + Wright Architects

Location Toronto, Ontario

Located at the gateway to the York University campus in northwest Toronto, the new 340,000-square-foot building for the Schulich School of Business leads the way in the urban design master plan for the entire campus while simultaneously establishing its own individual identity as a refined composition of buildings.

The school announces itself from a distance as a point tower, a sculptural volume that rises above the flat landscape of the campus and the uniformity of the three-level building height prescribed by the campus master plan. On the south side of the block, an array of courtyards and differentiated faades is analogous to the complexities of a city. On the east side of the block, a series of pavilion-like components face a campus road and a cluster of maple trees.

Dramatic lines, natural materials and light characterize the architecture. Undulating faades clad in cut limestone and glass, with heavy-gauge copper details, evoke a sense of universality, permanence and timelessness. The interiors retain consistency with the exteriors, with a similar material palette and extensive transparency.

Schulich is essentially two schools: an undergraduate program and an executive program accommodating mid-career students who attend special classes and who are housed in a hotel attached to the school. The building places the former at the north end of the complex, and the latter at the south end, signified by the landmark tower. To promote sociability and a sense of community, each of these two programs has a main gathering space, the three-storey central commons area for the undergraduate program and the double-height dining room for the Executive Learning Centre.

Adam Caruso: Filling a whole city block, this complex building projects the image of a super-luxury citadel. A combination of grandness and sophistication that is appropriate for a school of business. The stone and glass exterior refers to the best of 1950s corporate architecture, brought into the 21st century with a gently faceted geometry that accommodates the irregular site. With the exaggerated flatness of the beautifully detailed cladding, it fits like a well-tailored suit. The carefully made concrete, glass and wood interiors, the generous terraces and gardens sustain this quality of institutional or corporate luxury throughout the project.

Client York University

Architect Team Hariri Pontarini Architects: Siamak Hariri, Michael Boxer, Sara Tetlow, Bernard Sin, Donald Chong, David Pontarini, Philip Toms, John Cook, Flavio Trevisan, Vanessa Hattoum, Barbara Fogarasi, Claudio Santon, Robert Smyth, Margarete Krawecka. Robbie/Young + Wright Architects: Jamie Wright, Neil Munro, Yew Thong Leong, Ian Mclachlin, Rodel Misa, Paul Harris, Tony Diodati, Edward Joseph, Michael Mcbride, Andrew Smyth, Steven Donnelly, Virgiliu Petre, Suresh Patel, Sara Blaauw, Steve Nightengale, Stephanie Van Es, Tara Takahashi, Vince Gallo, Marta Belcourt.

Structural Carruthers and Wallace Consulting Engineers

Mechanical Smith & Andersen Consulting Engineers

Electrical Mulvey + Banani International

Landscape the Mbtw Group and Janet Rosenberg + Associates

Construction Manager Vanbots Construction Corporation

Area 340,000 Ft2

Budget $110 M

Completion September 2003

Photography Steven Evans