Historic Restoration and Contemporary Design Collide at Ryerson University

Historic Restoration and Contemporary Design Collide at Ryerson University
25 Sep 2018

Adjacent to the main intersection of Ryerson University’s downtown campus, overlooking Devonian Pond, is the Heaslip House, which is home to the G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education. The retrofitted seven-story classroom and administration space is a mix of both historical restoration and contemporary construction.

Echoing the design of the industrial brewery headquarters constructed on the site in 1938-39, which was clad in limestone with copper accents, Lett Architects in conjunction with Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects included approximately 23,000 pounds of 16 ounce copper cladding on the west and north sides of the new facility.

“From a design standpoint, because we had an existing building façade, the O’Keefe Breweries, with punched windows and limestone, we wanted to respect that and complement that on that façade,” Bill Lett, Jr. design architect for Lett Architects Inc. told Award Magazine.

The shiny copper panels installed in early 2000, have already patinated to a dark brown. However, since the panels are on a vertical surface, they will never reach the full green color associated with a mature sloped roof in the eastern part of North America. But they will still provide the same life span and performance.

“The cladding is fabricated from copper coils, which are predominantly comprised of recycled material, Rob Boyko, partner with Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects Inc. told Award Magazine. “Copper itself is 100 percent recyclable and it’s got a life span of over 100 years.”

Like many academic buildings, both at Ryerson and across North America, copper is a tried and true material for these type of installations. Its long service life and beautify natural finish often make it the material of choice when designing state-of-the-art campus buildings.



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