Best Tall Mixed-Use Building Award of Excellence: Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex, Toronto
Principal, Design Director
Perkins & Will, Toronto
Ryerson University, Toronto
Connecting Strands of Science Across a Vibrant Urban Campus
At the Daphne Cockwell Health Sciences Complex, programmatically, four academic departments—the Schools of Nursing, Midwifery, Nutrition, and Occupational and Public Health—share space with technology-rich classrooms, a digital fabrication lab, flexible research facilities, university administration, and a 330-bed residence. A continuous thread of public space, described in vibrant orange cladding, connects these diverse programs to each other, and to the city beyond. Public functions, retail and large classrooms are located on the building’s first two levels, animating the street while providing the access and crush space required for hourly turnover. A through-block interior street creates a new pedestrian route on campus. The residence lobby and amenities sit atop the podium, opening onto a green roof that acts as a sky-level “quad” and visual amenity for the residence units and neighboring towers.
At grade, the cafe, servery, and study spaces animate Church Street. In the center of the plan, operable walls make for a flexible flat-floor classroom, and create an impromptu event space and a visual connection all the way through the center of the building, linking Church Street to the back laneway. A new galleria links Church Street to Bond Street, increasing campus porosity and accommodating future desire lines between the heart of campus to the northwest and future development sites to the southeast. A double-height vitrine showcases the building’s below-grade Digital Fabrication Zone. These programs are all connected by a series of stacked public lounges, which feature a vibrant, stained-wood cladding and sculptural stairs to inspire active lifestyles and spontaneous interactions. These social spaces offer dramatic views over the city and promote the growth of communities at every level of a tall building.