Yonge Street's newest landmark, the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre, is set to open its doors on Monday, February 23, providing new study space for students of the academic institution. We last toured the facility back in August, when construction was still well under way on the Snøhetta and Zeidler Partnership Architects-designed eight-storey building. In the time since, the bulk of work has been completed, and finishing touches are now being applied in advance of next week's opening.
One of the building's most eye-catching features is the textured aluminum soffit, finished in an iridescent blue automotive treatment. This grand entrance to the building shelters a wide staircase with ample room for seating and lounging, while the textures, shapes and play of light at the entrance entices passersby inside.
On hand for the tour were for of the leading designers of the Student Learning Centre, from left to right in the image below; Michael Cotton – Snohetta NY, Founding Partner; Craig Dykers – Snohetta NY, Senior Architect; Vaidila Banelis – Zeidler Toronto, Senior Partner; Mike Smith – Zeidler Toronto, Senior Associate
The blue soffit is also a major feature in the Student Learning Centre's expansive two-storey atrium lobby, while in other areas the exposed concrete ceiling beams are traced by a linear arrangement of fluorescent light tubes.
The lobby also features amphitheatre seating, which will soon be finished with multicoloured cushions, and a Starbucks cafe, currently obscured by a blue tarpaulin left of centre in the image below.
Moving up a floor from the entrance area, we come to a landing on the second floor, where the connection between the new Student Learning Centre and the existing Ryerson library to the east is apparent where a section of the library's (formerly exterior) west wall is framed by new construction. This level also contains the facility's Library Staff Lounge.
The staircase visible on the right hand side of the preceding image leads us to the third floor, known as The Bluff, where students will have access to two distinct spaces; a "Launch Zone", where students can build their own businesses with assistance not unlike a startup incubator, and a "Digital Media Experience", that supports teaching innovation and experimental learning.
The Student Learning Centre's fourth floor, known as The Garden, will house reception and services, academic accommodations support, English language support, help for graduate students, math support, study skills and translation support, library learning services, space for workshops and peer to peer services.
The fifth floor, known as The Sun, will house eleven collaborative/group workrooms and four seminar rooms, the largest of which seats fifty students. The seminar rooms feature windows with an intense orange tint, adding a distinct visual appeal to the spaces.
Easily among the most impressive spaces in the building, level 6 is known as The Beach. This large open space features a sloped floor with amphitheatre seating, below concentric rings of light.
This "beach" is centered not around a lake or an ocean, but instead the streetscapes of Yonge and Gould Streets. This large open study/gathering space has been designed to make the floors themselves hospitable for sitting, though the space will also be outfitted with comfortable furniture for longer study sessions.
The flat upper section of the sixth level, on the northeast side near the elevator banks, features multi-coloured furniture as well as a great view of the surrounding open floor layout.
The eighth floor of the Student Learning Centre follows the theme of nature and landscapes, named "Sky". This top level features two large spaces divided diagonally, with large floor-to-ceiling windows that beautifully show off the patterns of frit in the building's exterior glazing system.
This lofty space, fitting of the name "Sky" will surely be a favourite spot for Ryerson students looking to study in an airy, naturally lit environment.
Additional information and renderings can be found in our dataBase file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment using the space provided at the bottom of this page.
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