Ryerson students know it as the old theatre school building, historians know it as the first Canadian school of pharmacy, but soon 44 Gerrard Street East will soon be known as Ryerson’s Centre for Urban Innovation.
The centre’s design was revealed on Feb. 7, highlighting the modern adaptations that will be made to the historic building. The heritage site housed Canada’s first pharmacy school in 1886, which was one of the only teaching centres for pharmacists at the time. Since Ryerson acquired the site in 1963, it has been home to the department of architectural technology, and later to journalism and performance programs.
“The striking design of the Centre for Urban Innovation (CUI) preserves the building’s rich history while transforming it into a modern state-of-the-art research facility,” said Ryerson President Mohamed Lachemi in a press release.
The 40,000-square-foot building will create space for researchers from various fields of study, including urban energy, infrastructure, urban water, food and nutrition and data analytics. Faculty and students will be able to use the space for research and development of nutrition, energy and water solutions in an urban context.
Carol Phillips from Moriyama and Teshima Architects is the lead designer of the project. She said the design will reflect the “innovative nature of the Centre.”
“The new additions will be distinguished by metal elements, glass and wood to express the aspirations of the program: efficient, clarity and lightness in our use of energy and resources for sustainability and health,” said Phillips in the release.
Ryerson received $19.8 million in funding from the federal government for the reconstruction project, though it will reportedly cost $45.7 million in total.
The building is set to open in September 2018.