Twisted Exterior Comes Together at York U’s School of Continuing Studies

Expansion of York University‘s Keele Campus continues through new buildings replacing open ground and surface parking, the latest being the School of Continuing Studies, under construction since March, 2020 along the north side of The Pond Road between Ian MacDonald Boulevard and James Gillies Street. The Perkins + Will-designed building has been turning heads for several months now, as its twisted structure takes shape: the building leans to the south at its west end, and to the north at its east end, with the exterior walls only being perfectly upright in its very centre. Now structurally complete, this new landmark’s construction has entered its next chapter.

York University's School of Continuing Studies, Perkins + Will, TorontoYork University’s School of Continuing Studies, image by Edward Skira

We last checked in on the project at the start of February, when the building’s steel-frame was approaching completion, and concrete floor slabs were being poured atop metal decking. The latest photos show that substantial progress has been made, with all floor slabs now in place, interior walls appearing, and most notably, the start of installation of the building’s distinctive geometric skin. This tessellated, triangular pattern of metal panels and windows now extend as high as the roof parapet on portions of the structure.

York University's School of Continuing Studies, Perkins + Will, TorontoYork University’s School of Continuing Studies, image by Edward Skira

Upon completion, the facility will bring over 9,000 m² of new institutional space across six levels to York University, with five above-grade floors and a single underground floor flooded with natural light via an atrium. This level ’00’ will house classrooms, mechanical rooms, and a cafeteria, while levels 1 through 4 will primarily contain classroom spaces. The upper floor is to be split between offices, meeting spaces, workspaces for instructors, and a staff lounge.

York University's School of Continuing Studies, Perkins + Will, TorontoYork University’s School of Continuing Studies, image by Edward Skira

The building was initially targeting to open its doors for the Fall, 2021 school semester, though disruptions to the construction schedule due to COVID-19 and other factors have resulted in an adjusted timeline, the building instead scheduled to open for students in Winter, 2022.

“In uncertain times, the need for innovative and responsive lifelong learning is greater than ever,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton in a 2020 York University blog post, released a few months into the pandemic. “This new, standalone home for our School of Continuing Studies demonstrates York’s commitment to serving the current and future needs of learners and employers, here at home and around the world, as they rise to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the demands of a dynamic global knowledge economy.”

York University's School of Continuing Studies, Perkins + Will, TorontoYork University’s School of Continuing Studies, image via submission to City of Toronto

You can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you’d like to, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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