In the final stage of an international competition, this concept beat out proposals from other top firms for George Brown College’s new School of Technology (and Canada’s first Tall Wood Research Institute). Destined for the school’s waterfront campus in Toronto, the low-carbon building maximizes the spanning capabilities of cross-laminated timber to serve as a striking new model for sustainable architecture.
Clad in warm terracotta, the project features an angular CLT and glulam roof and an amply glazed facade that reveals a three-storey central atrium to passersby. This welcoming wood-lined core boasts an amphitheatre-style stair that guides visitors up to lecture halls, computer labs and spaces dedicated to student interaction. To allow for airy interiors within a compact overall footprint, the Arbour’s architects developed an innovative flat-plate slab-band structural concept made from CLT and trapezoidal steel plates. Because the thin-yet-stable wood structures minimize the need for beams, the building’s height, volume and material costs are reduced and the positioning of services is simplified.
Planned to top out at 12 storeys, the Arbour is seeking an exception to the Ontario Building Code’s six-floor limit on timber towers. Assuming it succeeds, it will pave the way for future innovation throughout Canada. Even in the short time since the project’s announcement, several other tall timber structures have been proposed for Toronto.
AZ Awards category Best in Concepts: Unbuilt Buildings Project ‘The Arbour’ George Brown College Tall Wood Building Location Toronto, Canada Firm Moriyama & Teshima Architects (Toronto, Canada) + Acton Ostry Architects (Vancouver, Canada) Team Carol Phillips, Veronica Madonna, Russell Acton and Milos Begovic with Daniel Teramura, Jay Zhao, Daniel Kinnett, Greg Perkins, Tristan Roberton, Mark Ostry, Matt Wood, Sean Koudela and Nebo Slijepcevic
Designed by Moriyama & Teshima and Acton Ostry, “The Arbour” is the ambitious tall-wood building that took the prize in Best in Concepts: Unbuilt Buildings.