Photos by Tom Arban
The Waterfront Campus for George Brown College (GBC) consolidates existing health science programs from disparate buildings and campuses into one new building, with facilities for 3,500 full time students, 1,000 part-time students and approximately 500 faculty and staff. Programs at the new campus are the Schools of Dental Health, Health and Wellness, Health Service Management and Nursing.
The architecture references the rich industrial and maritime heritage of the site and responds to the context of the lake and its promenade, a new park to the east (Sherbourne Common) and an adjacent building to the west (Corus Quay).
The jury was “ . . . overwhelmed by sophistication . . . urban design approach was very strong . . . connecting waterfront to downtown core . . . a gift back to the city . . . captures a campus in a delightful way . . . new model . . .”
The 565,000 s.f. building (including 150,000 s.f. of underground parking) is an anchor within an overall master plan for development of the Toronto waterfront on Lake Ontario and was required to meet stringent urban design guidelines.
It had to have a high level of ground floor animation and encourage public engagement. It has a transparent ground floor with public programs such as food services, main campus atrium and campus store. The transparency is accentuated by low iron glazing that breaks down the delineation of interior and exterior. A primary design objective was to create an integrated vertical campus by stretching public realm animation from the ground floor up through the building.
The natural light and spectacular views from the building support a healthy environment for staff and students and demonstrate the building as a health promotion hub within the developing neighbourhood.
The project is mandated to achieve LEED Gold accreditation and meet the City of Toronto Green Standard.
Storm water is reused by diversion to the building’s evaporative cooling tower and to the green roofs that comprise 60% of the surface. Daylight harvesting reduces electrical energy usage and supports the target of 11.39 kWh/s.f./year.
“The waterfront campus reinforced our position in the academic and health care communities and our capabilities to compete with other top tier global cities for investment, research and students. At a human level, the new campus is a landmark at the water’s edge, serving as a beacon,” says Terry Comeau, Executive Director, Waterfront Development at George Brown College.
Project Team: George Brown College for the Waterfront Campus with Stantec Architecture½KPMB Architects in Joint Venture also BA Consulting; Educational Consulting Services; Hanscomb; Leber½Rubes; Kaizen Foodservice Planning & Design; Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg Landscape Architects; The Sextant Group; Soberman Engineering; SPH Planning and Consulting; Isherwood Geostructural Engineers; SHAL Consulting Engineers; Trow Associates; EllisDon