After years of neglect, the former home of Knox College at 1 Spadina Crescent is being transformed into the new home of U of T's John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, named to honour John H. Daniels and Myrna Daniels for a $24 million donation. Designed by Boston-based NADAAA with restoration work overseen by Toronto heritage specialists ERA Architects, the project is restoring and renovating the original building and adding a modern three-storey, 100,000 square foot addition to the north side of the 1875-built structure that will house a large lecture hall, a public gallery, collaborative studio spaces, and an advanced fabrication lab.

U of T, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, 1 Spadina Crescent, Toronto, NADAAA1 Spadina Crescent viewed from the south, image by Vik Pahwa

Since the project was announced back in 2013, generations of soot and grime have been cleaned from the exterior of the historic structure, while earlier patch-work additions that weren't in character with the site's 19th century Gothic Revival architecture have also been removed.

U of T, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, 1 Spadina Crescent, Toronto, NADAAA1 Spadina Crescent viewed from the southwest, image by Vik Pahwa

The project will have a profound impact on the two terminating vistas created by the building's position in the centre of Spadina Avenue. The southern terminating vista remains largely unchanged architecturally (though noticeably improved by the restoration efforts), while the northern terminating vista is already being transformed by the new construction, and will soon be radically transformed by it.

U of T, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, 1 Spadina Crescent, Toronto, NADAAAAddition taking shape at 1 Spadina Crescent, viewed from the west, image by Vik Pahwa

Recent photos captured over the holidays reveal that the new addition has risen two storeys above grade, with forms now in place for the ceiling of the second level and floor of the third level.

U of T, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, 1 Spadina Crescent, Toronto, NADAAAAddition taking shape at 1 Spadina Crescent, image by Vik Pahwa

The historic structure will also be flanked by pavilions to the east and west, housing research venues like the Global Cities Institute, the Model Cities Theatre and Laboratory, and the Institute for Architecture and Human Health. The grounds of the facility will feature landscaping by Public Work, including a public plaza.

U of T, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, 1 Spadina Crescent, Toronto, NADAAARendering of the U of T Daniels Faculty of Architecture, image courtesy of U of T

Additional information and renderings of the project can be found in the dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Visit the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment using the space provided at the bottom of this page.

ERRATUM: An earlier version of this article had said that the Daniels' donation was $10 Million instead of $24 million.