ryerson student learning center

Designer, Snøhetta NY

The Ryerson University Student Learning Center in Toronto, Ontario was in the initial stages of Schematic Design when I joined the team.  The majority of the program for the SLC falls under group study space, with additional square footage assigned to special collections, interactive medias, cafe, administrative offices, and special learning services.  In addition to schematic form generation and the production of REVIT documentation,  I was also asked to analyze our designs for daylight performance.  Given that a majority of the space will be used for focused study, it became essential to understand the quantity of natural light that would penetrate through our various facade iterations.  Using Ecotect, I was able to import schematic models from the design team and run daylight factor studies to determine the extent of light penetration achieved by each of our facade conditions.  This information was used to justify the exploration of an inner glass curtain wall and an exterior screen that would help focus and bounce light back into the open study spaces.

The entry-level of the SLC also presented a unique condition as we were interested in exploring a curved voluminous space, half of which would remain exterior and be exposed to the elements.  This space would help to collect the public and filter students into the building while providing outdoor seating and space for gathering.  I used Ecotect to run a series of site context studies to determine the impact of surrounding buildings on the number of sunlight hours experienced within the space.  These visualizations helped us to understand the interaction of sunlight and geometry to provide more hospitable exterior environments.

design team:  Michael Cotton, Michael Loverich, Sam Brissette, Fred Holt, Misako Murata & Craig Dykers

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