This short-listed proposal for the Kaneff Expansion at the University of Toronto is simple, yet elegant - in form, structure and material palette. The infill and expansion design transforms the existing Rotunda with a highly transparent, light-filled space that effectively provides for a gateway to the campus.
The enclosed Rotunda is composed of a timber structured, clear span, cylindrical rotunda and a curved channel glass cladding system covering a three story, steel framed building. A tall timber structured loggia and forecourt provides a warm and welcoming entrance from the intersection of the Five Minute Walk and Middle Road, onto the Departments and Registrar frontages on the Rotunda.
The Rotunda is a grand, triple height space that is enclosed by an elegant wood roof, king-post truss structural system of laminated timbers, and purlins on wood posts. The wood structure is a unique feature, rich in texture and natural colour, while satisfying Kearns Mancini's design objective for the use of materials from renewable resources which provide acoustical dampening qualities to the open space.
The simple form and design of the roof structure is intended to allow for generous natural day-lighting while allowing for passive solar gain during the winter months. A clerestory glazing system combined with a system of solar fixed shading devices would allow natural light to enter the gathering and circulation space below, while controlling unwanted solar gain during the summer months.