University of Toronto Scarborough learning hub to welcome nature indoors

Canadian firm ZAS Architects
and Denmark-based CEBRA
have unveiled the design for the Instructional
Centre Phase 2 (IC-2), a new companion building at the University
of Toronto Scarborough. Deigned as a “dynamic learning
landscape,” the building eschews the traditional boxy arrangement
of rooms for a more fluid layout that prioritizes flexibility and
stacks learning spaces on top of each other. In addition to a large
green roof that
will top the fourth floor, the new five-story building will also
feature sloped garden beds and an indoor landscaped courtyard.

rendering of glass rectangular building lit from within at night

Proposed for a site currently used as a surface parking lot, the
new institutional building will offer a variety of
technology-enabled spaces, including 21 classrooms of varying
sizes and configurations, from a 500-seat auditorium to smaller,
24-seat learning spaces. The project will also contain 124 faculty
and staff offices, study spaces, lab rooms, meeting areas and
multiple co-working spaces
designed to encourage peer collaboration. The ground floor will be
used as a social hub with a cafe and informal gathering spaces
complete with soaring ceiling heights and an open floor plan.

Related: UK University unveils efficient, BREEAM-certified learning

rendering of stair-stepped desks with several chairs in an auditorium

rendering of trees and vines growing in a courtyard

“We envisioned a truly flexible environment that broke down
traditional pedagogies and instead, encouraged a fluid learning
experience unconfined by the walls of the classroom,” said Paul
Stevens, founder and senior principal at ZAS Architects.
“Peer-to-peer learning is emulated in all aspects of the

rendering of classroom auditorium with wood desks arranged in a semi-circle

rendering of open learning center with multiple floors

Fitted with a mix of translucent and fritted glazing, the
contemporary building will be awash in natural light to promote
student health and wellness while reducing the facility’s
energy footprint. To further
provide both mental and physical support to students, the design
dedicates a state-of-the-art central floor to student health that
will include counseling and mental health resources, a meditation
room, a breastfeeding room, a physician and nurse office and
academic advising and accessibility services.

+ ZAS Architects

Images via ZAS Architects

Source: FS – All – Ecology – News 2
University of Toronto Scarborough learning hub to welcome
nature indoors