Sometimes, to gain a new landmark, we are forced to sacrifice an old one. In one infamous example, the original Toronto Star building at 80 King West—the inspiration for the Daily Planet building of Superman fame—was demolished in the 1970s to make way for the towering First Canadian Place complex. More recently, we said goodbye to Sam The Record Man at Yonge and Gould. This legendary record store survived the switch from vinyl to cassette – then from cassette to CD, but as the era of digitally downloadable music progressed, sales languished, forcing the company into bankruptcy in 2001. The subsequent closing and demolition of Sam The Record Man in 2007 brought an end to a decades-old landmark, which was at times a counterculture mecca.  Though we have lost an undeniable cultural landmark, we are in the process of gaining a new iconic structure, the Ryerson Student Learning Centre.

Rendering of the Ryerson Student Learning Centre

Designed by Norway and New York-based Snøhetta with Toronto firm Zeidler Partnership Architects, the uniquely glazed $112 million facility will offer students at Ryerson University an informal study environment, set in a variety of bright, open spaces. In addition to providing students a place to congregate and work between classes, the 155,464 square-foot building will contain around 16,000 square-feet of retail on Yonge Street at and below grade level.

Ryerson Student Learning Centre construction site, image by forum member androiduk

Excavation work for the 8-storey structure started in mid-2012 and work has since progressed up to the building’s complicated entrance and ground floors. Comparing the photos and rendering seen below, we can see how the entrance along Gould Street is shaping up.

Formwork taking shape at the Ryerson Student Learning Centre, image by Jack Landau

Rendering of the Ryerson Student Learning Centre

Angled forms on the building's west side, image by Jack Landau

Formwork for the unusually arranged floorplans will undoubtedly take a considerable amount longer than traditional commercial and residential floorplates, which are often flat and featureless. To create a grand open environment, the floors at the Ryerson Student Learning Centre take a distinct and unconventional approach, making for an exceptionally fascinating construction site to document and watch.

Cross sectional floor plan for Ryerson Student learning Centre

Looking north across the Ryerson Student Learning Centre construction site, image by Jack Landau

The building, which is planned for 2014 completion, is being built to achieve LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver compliance, with at least 50 per cent of the roof area occupied by a dedicated green roof.

The building's entrance taking shape, image by Jack Landau

For additional information including building facts and renderings, please visit the related dataBase page, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Voice your opinion in the comments section provided below, or check out the associated forum thread.

Related Companies:  EllisDon, entro, LiveRoof Ontario Inc, Ryerson University, Snøhetta, Zeidler Partnership Architects