Ryerson University issued the following announcement on April 27.
If you could design a building in the King Street entertainment district, how would you do it? At the external,Department of Architectural Science’s annual external,Year-End Show, first-year students will show off their ideas—but they quickly learned that working in one of Toronto’s most famous streets means adapting to its culture.
Students in Vincent Hui’s class were tasked with designing buildings for infill sites (small areas of unfilled land) in the King Street corridor. The project allowed students to envision projects in real urban conditions—with all the regulations and restrictions that entails.
“A lot of times, architecture schools will say, ‘Design a building in the middle of nowhere,’” said Hui, a Ryerson architectural science professor. “We’re saying, ‘Ryerson is a city-builder, and we want students to be cognizant of the issues they’ll be dealing with when they’re fully-fledged architects.’” Hui received the external,President’s Award for Teaching Excellence at this year’s external,Ryerson Awards Night, cited for his dedication to offering experiential learning opportunities like this.
“The most important thing is to go to the site first,” said Maya Higeli. “We would record the first things we noticed—noise levels, relations to other buildings. For me, I also like to do research on the area and its history, building off how it relates to the streetscape.”
“Our earlier projects were more open, and we could do designs that were more extravagant,” said Alvin Huang. “With this final project, it was: how do we design something that is not only architecturally sound, but also looks nice, and respects the site? We looked a lot at adjacent buildings to make sure we weren’t too intrusive.”
“Personally, I find that if you have more freedom, it can be harder to come up with a design, because you have so many options,” said student Madina Koshanova. “When you are designing in such a tight space, you have a lot of limitations. In that sense, it can sometimes be easier to design on King Street.”
The choice of King Street, with its transit pilot project, presented its own challenges. “It’s not only the existing context of the buildings, but also a social context you’re building into,” said Hui. “In this case, there is a movement to free up the street from vehicular traffic and engage the public realm a little bit better. I thought this would be a great way for the first-year students to take advantage of the living lab model.”
Ryerson Department of Architectural Science Year-End Show opens May 3.
Photo: Ryerson Department of Architectural Science Year-End Show opens May 3.
Students agreed that the year-end projects represent the culmination of a year-long educational experience. “There’s a huge difference between our very first project and this project,” said Michael Perera. “We’re more sensitive to context, and to how people actually transition through the space. We’ve really thought about accessibility, which is a big issue in an urban context. We had a problem with the narrowness of our site—it was a six-metre lot—and we basically had to accommodate accessibility within that lot.”
“I understand architecture more,” added Madina Koshanova. “Before, I didn’t understand why buildings look the way they look. You need to know how your design relates to the site, but also how it can stand out and attract people.”
The Ryerson Department of Architectural Science Year-End Show displays cutting-edge work from students in both graduate and undergraduate levels, and includes models, drawings, and digital presentations. The exhibition launches May 3 at 325 Church Street, and will be open to the public until June 22.
Original source: https://www.ryerson.ca/news-events/news/2018/04/your-assignment-design-a-building-on-king-street/