Daniels Building at One Spadina Crescent

Daniels Building at One Spadina Crescent


Public Work

Adamson Associates Architects

ERA architects
Toronto, Ont, Canada | View Map
Project Year
Stories By

Michael Muraz Photography
Nic Lehoux
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
ManufacturersCascadia Windows & Doors
ManufacturersBubbleDeck International A/S
Exterior Wall System, ultra high performance concreteTaktl
Ceiling framing systemArmstrong Ceiling Solutions
AcousticsAercoustics Engineering Limited
Curtainwall SystemAlumicor

Product Spec Sheet
Exterior Wall System, ultra high performance concrete
Ceiling framing system
Curtainwall System

Daniels Building at One Spadina Crescent

NADAAA as Architects

The Daniels Building at the University of Toronto embodies a holistic approach to urban design and sustainability. As the new home for the John H. Daniels Faculty of architecture, landscape, and design, its purpose is to engage students and the broader community in dialogue about the built environment.

At the center of one of Toronto’s few circular parcels, the project anchors the southwest corner of the University and opens the circle to the public after years of inaccessibility. It restores the historic and forgotten building to its original grandeur while also integrating a new addition. The north-south axis characterizes symbolic relationships to the City, while the east-west axis is activated by pedestrian traffic. On the western edge, a discreet arcade addresses the residential scale of the adjacent neighborhood. Meanwhile, a public plaza to the east creates a prominent relationship with the campus. The renewed site invites activity, with circulation for pedestrians and cyclists. Extensive sustainable features including a noteworthy approach to site storm water management while simultaneously bringing a heritage building back to life.

The design of this building presented a case where problems of pedagogy come face to face with a physical environment that is inhabited and tested daily by an audience of experts, critics, teachers, practitioners, and students, the very protagonists of the medium. It is perhaps one of the few occasions where the audience is engaging with the building and its authors at a higher level, making it an added challenge –and responsibility– to speak to architectural questions with a greater degree of nuance, as such the building was designed to become a pedagogical tool, integrated into the curriculum with both sustainable/design elements and school programs on display both to students and the public.

Material Used :

Exterior Wall System, ultra high performance concrete: TAKTL

Hollow Deck System: Bubbledeck

Curtain wall System: Alumicor

Radiant System: Rehau 

Ceiling framing system: Armstrong

Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design

Michael Muraz Photography as Photographers

After seeing the completed expansion of the Daniels Faculty at the University of Toronto during Doors Open Toronto, I decided I wanted to capture it. I was especially drawn to the iconic location and what I thought was an interesting addition to an historic Toronto building.


The site is both a key part of the design and a challenge to capture. I knew there was only so much I could do from the ground to capture the entire building and landscape in context, so I chose to include aerial views. As I do a fair amount of aerial photography, I had the opportunity to photograph the building at different times of day and during different seasons.


From the ground, there was a lot that was worth capturing: the relationship between the historic building and the new addition ; the building within the landscape ; the details of the design and materials ; and of course, the human element.


I was particularly drawn to exploring the various paths around the building: from the air, they form a map of the pedestrian circulation ; but from the ground, it's a more intimate scale, where one experiences the landscape and architecture.



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