The new, LEED Gold-targeting Science Building at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), designed by Henning Larsen Architects (HLA) and Zeidler Architecture, will be a 16-storey academic building with ground-floor retail and amenity space. In support of the university’s commitment to providing a collegial pedestrian environment on its intensively developed urban campus, the landscape conceptualized by HLA and developed by PLANT introduces six linked, fine-grained public realm spaces that will surround the Science Building at street level.
On the west side (Mutual Street) is University Square, the main entry forecourt. This active, informal gathering space connects west to the main campus and east, through the building’s interior ‘street’, to Jarvis Street. A signature paving treatment unifies the square with the public sidewalk on Mutual Street and the right-of-way to the neighbouring property, while also establishing University Square as a new campus gateway.
Just north of the square and elevated slightly above it, the Café Terrace provides exterior space for a restaurant. Raised planters and trees, integrated with wood seating, line the terrace’s west frontage, which steps down to negotiate a grade change along Mutual Street and tucks bicycle parking into the northwest corner. A stair and ramp at the south end seamlessly integrate the Café Terrace into University Square.
South of the square, the Pocket Garden balances lush planting and curvilinear benches beneath a cluster of canopy and understorey trees with north/south pedestrian access and clear sightlines.
The Dundas Streetscape continues the character of University Square and the Pocket Garden along the south edge of the site, extending unit paving to the street edge in a curvilinear pattern and strategically positioning curvilinear benches under shade trees.
As the landscape turns the site’s east corner, the Jarvis Streetscape adds a linear yet playful counterpoint, with a scattering of individual wood-topped seats beneath its trees.
The North Passage, a through-block connection threading between the Science Building and the existing, block-spanning building to its north, completes the site’s pedestrian-oriented circuit.