April 21, 2008

New Buildings Can Be Nice.

On Sunday, Chris and I visited one of my most favourite buildings in Toronto: The Terrence Donnelly Center (for Cellular and Biomolecular Research). If you live in Toronto and haven't been, it's on College Street just west of University and I implore you to go for a visit.

Designed by architectsAlliance (Toronto) and Behnisch Architekten (Stuttgart), the University of Toronto research centre was a challenge to design in part because of the tiny parcel of land - which I believe was a parking lot - that was allotted to the site. It also had to respect the older University buildings around it while reflecting the very modern research that goes on inside.

I think it's an absolute smash.

Sustainability was important to the project, and this is quite clear when you visit the remarkable Winter Garden, a 5-story indoor landscape site that uses a neighbouring historical building for its lovely brick wall .

This view is on the way to the washroom. Pretty classy.

The garden is filled with 45-foot tall bamboo trees and grass, an there is an additional garden on one of the upper levels of the 12-story building as well.

The space is light and airy and truly beautiful. I'm really hopeful about the possibilities for architecture in the city with nuggets like this. I'm also pretty grateful that there are so many good ice cream places within walking distance of this place. Yum.

Pear Top: Anthropologie, Skirt: Gap, Sandals: Winners. Last photo by Ben Rahn.

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

Shira, you are an absolute genius. This is inspiring, lovely,witty, clever-in-a-good-way, intelligent, creative stuff and i LOVE it. I mean, LOVE. AND you're beautiful, which is even better. Truly, I give you my award of 2008 most inspiring friend of the year. You fill me with awe. And before the soppiness overflows, I will add just ONE thing: you rock.