By Daniel Melfi
Efforts to rejuvenate Ryerson’s downtown campus were rewarded this week as two of the university’s buildings were recognized for innovation and restoration.
The Toronto Urban Design Awards (TUDA) honoured various new developments Wednesday night, including Ryerson’s newly designed Image Centre and Maple Leaf Gardens in the public buildings in context category.
Out of the 125 submissions received for consideration this year, 16 awards of merit were given out, along with 11 awards of excellence and one special jury award. The jury, which consisted of recognized individuals in the urban design community, awarded Ryerson’s new Image Centre and Maple Leaf Gardens, each with an award of merit.
The jury found Ryerson’s new Image Centre as a “subtle and sophisticated backdrop building to a dynamic and energetic civic public space,” while the award-winning Maple Leaf Gardens was found to be a great example of how “Loblaw and Ryerson University have teamed up to breathe new life into an old building and to reanimate an important intersection.”
Diamond Schmitt Architects, the firm behind the design of the new Image Centre, was pleased with the recognition.
“This isn’t the first award for the Image Centre, (but) as always, we were very pleased that the jury has recognized the design intent to enhance the Ryerson campus and liven the city around it,” Paul French, director of communications for Diamond Schmitt told the Ryersonian.
Both projects have not only innovated the space of their own buildings, but in the process, have illuminated the areas around them. Both of Ryerson’s buildings demonstrate how to integrate the platforms of art and design, as well as being examples of highly functional areas for education and community growth, the jury wrote.
The Toronto Urban Design Awards ceremony happens in Toronto every two years. The awards take place in order to celebrate and give recognition to the contributions of architects, landscape architects, urban designers, artists, design students and city builders, among others. Their influences and impacts on the city are functional, energetic and proud landmarks on which Toronto displays its urban design culture.