The Sharp Centre for Design - Ontario College of Art
McCaul Street, Toronto, Canada

Will Alsop with Robbie/Young + Wright Architects Inc
Date Built
McCaul Street, Toronto
This $42.5 million expansion and redevelopment for the Ontario College of Art and Design has received numerous awards, including: The Royal Institute of British Architects Worldwide Award; the Award of Excellence - "Building in Context" in Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Awards; and the "most outstanding technical project" in the 2005 Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards.

Alsop's website describes the building as, "a flying, translucent rectangle or 'table top' vividly patterned with a colourful pixellated skin, raised eight storeys from the ground and housing the new Faculty of Design. The project unifies the existing brick structures beneath the 'table top', the park to the west and McCaul Street to the east. Views to the park are preserved for OCAD's neighbours across McCaul Street, who participated in the consultation process."

Alsop began the design process instigating,  "a series of client workshops in which early concepts were developed with college staff and students. During this time, conventional ideas of teaching, learning and architecture were explored as the group sought to redefine their new college of art and design. The participants of the workshops exchanged sketches and ideas that lead to the development of a basic strategy. These original ideas are embodied in the final scheme,"

The OCAD website says of its new facility that it, "provides two storeys of studio and teaching space and is connected to the existing facility below by an elevator and stair core that forms the central focus of the newly created entrance hall uniting the two halves of the existing university buildings at all."

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