Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Acton Ostry Architects to design $130M George Brown tall wood campus building

tall wood george brown

George Brown College has selected Moriyama & Teshima Architects from Toronto and Vancouver-based Acton Ostry Architects to design The Arbour – its tall wood campus building on Toronto’s waterfront. This moves the project one step closer to construction of Ontario’s first tall wood, low carbon institutional building.

In selecting the winning design, the jury said, “The concept excelled across all aspects of the selection criteria: innovative use of wood throughout; excellent energy use that makes the building resilient and future-proof; exquisite space planning that supports a range of classroom, lab and other academic needs; and spaces that will have a strong resonance with students and the broader East Bayfront community.”

Construction of the $130 million structure is scheduled to begin in 2021 at the southeast corner of Queens Quay E. and Lower Sherbourne St. on a 0.23 hectare brownfield site, north of George Brown’s Daphne Cockwell Centre for Health Sciences.

Once complete, The Arbour will host Canada’s first Tall Wood Research Institute, allowing students and researchers to generate innovative ideas and research in low-carbon, mass timber construction. It will also become home to the college’s School of Computer Technology, and a new child care facility.

Poised to transform the Toronto waterfront, the team’s design for The Arbour features breathing rooms – using solar chimney systems to capture and harness light and air for sustainable natural ventilation. The building design also offers flexibility of learning spaces, enabling walls to expand and contract as needed, as well as a “Made in Canada” approach using nationally sourced mass wood components.

“Congratulations to the teams at Moriyama & Teshima Architects + Acton Ostry Architects,” college president Anne Sado said in a statement. “The Arbour is destined to become a landmark in the city, driving forward advancements in sustainable innovation and green buildings throughout Canada. We hope that this building will serve as an example on how we can incorporate sustainability into all aspects of our lives, including where we learn, work and play.”

The building is expected to have a 16,250 sq. m. footprint and will house research facilities for climate-friendly building practices, a School of Computer Technology, a new child care facility and Canada’s first Tall Wood Research Institute that will generate innovative ideas and research in low-carbon, mass timber construction.


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