MVRDV and Diamond Schmitt’s new building in Toronto

The addition to the University’s campus plays on the external-internal contrast, presenting itself as a common meeting point, with welcoming wood finishes and photovoltaic panels.

MVRDV and Diamond Schmitt have unveiled the project intended to house the Scarborough Academy of Medicine and Integrated Health (SAMIH) at the University of Toronto.

Located at the intersection of Morningside Avenue and Military Trail, the new building will serve as the entrance to the entire Scarborough campus, offering itself as a common space and meeting place. The project responds to the University’s intention to create a new pedestrian connection between Military Trail and the southern part of the campus, emphasizing communal spaces. This is achieved, in particular, by maintaining a glass facade on the ground floor, a detail that enhances the permeability of the spaces.

The various functions housed in the building, including laboratories, classrooms, offices, cafes, and various services, have been distributed around a large five-story atrium that opens to the outside on both sides of the volume, connecting the interior of the campus to the outside and serving as an important focal point for pedestrian flows. The atrium almost appears like a fissure in a rock, revealing to the outside what is happening inside. The wood cladding of the interiors creates an even more welcoming space in contrast to the exterior of the building, in a grayscale composed of photovoltaic panels.

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