New U of T Centre for Engineering Innovation Opens
Originally seen in the Daily Commercial News: dailycommercialnews.com
May 7, 2018
The Myhal Centre for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto (U of T) is designed to be “quiet and simple,” says Robert Davies, a principal at Montgomery Sisam Architects, and was intended “to fit comfortably with its neighbours — not standing out but politely joining in.”
The building, part of U of T’s faculty of applied science and engineering, is situated on George Street on the university’s downtown Toronto campus and will provide a state-of-the-art, collaborative space to drive engineering education forward and develop the next generation of engineers, said Cristina Amon, the faculty’s dean, during the building’s grand opening on April 27.
“We are interested in architecture that aspires to an idea of engineering precision,”
Robert Davies - Montgomery Sisam Architects
“Today marks the beginning of a new era of engineering education and research,” she said.
“The building we are in now will fundamentally transform the way we teach and learn. It will spark collaboration across disciplines and will foster creativity among our students, faculty, staff, alumni and industry partners, providing space to develop engineers who are more prepared to innovate, to lead, to generate solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges and to create entirely new technologies.”
According to a release issued by the university, the building includes flexible, technology enhanced active learning spaces, fabrication facilities to support both curricular and co-curricular design projects and dedicated space for student clubs and teams.
It was constructed by Bird Construction and designed by Montgomery Sisam Architects. Construction started in May 2015 and will continue for a few more months to complete the upper floor occupancy and landscaping, explained Jamie Brenneman, a project manager with Bird.
“They tried to use as many environmentally efficient principles in the design as they could — an extra layer of insulation on the outside, solar panels and a groundwater system that reuses stormwater for irrigation,” explained Brenneman, adding the inside features exposed finished concrete to give the building an industrial look.
“Like any downtown building, obviously your footprint is a challenge logistically. There is a high groundwater table and that was a challenge and you’ve got active buildings all around so safety is a paramount concern.”