Media Releases

U of T selects architects for new Centre for Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship

April 24, 2013

TORONTO, ON – The Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to has cho­sen Toron­to-based Mont­gomery Sisam Archi­tects (MSA) and U.K.-based Feilden Clegg Bradley Stu­dios as the archi­tects for the new Cen­tre for Engi­neer­ing Inno­va­tion and Entre­pre­neur­ship (CEIE).

The CEIE will serve as the hub of U of T Engineering’s col­lab­o­ra­tive learn­ing and inter­dis­ci­pli­nary research, hous­ing inter­ac­tive spaces for learn­ing and design, as well as a num­ber of mul­ti­dis­ci­pli­nary research cen­tres and insti­tutes. The build­ing will also serve as a home for the Faculty’s recent­ly launched Entre­pre­neur­ship Hatch­ery, which encour­ages and sup­ports engi­neer­ing stu­dents inter­est­ed in launch­ing entre­pre­neur­ial ven­tures.

Locat­ed on St. George Street, adja­cent to icon­ic Con­vo­ca­tion Hall, the CEIE is tar­get­ed to open in 2016.

The new build­ing “will encour­age infor­mal and spon­ta­neous inter­ac­tion; for it is often through chance encoun­ters that inno­va­tion occurs and entre­pre­neur­ial think­ing flour­ish­es,” said Robert Davies of Mont­gomery Sisam Archi­tects. “Such encoun­ters most often hap­pen in the ‘spaces in between’, the halls, stair­ways, lob­bies and pas­sages. Set teach­ing spaces should be stan­dard­ized and flex­i­ble to allow for change in the future where­as the shared pub­lic spaces; lounges, club space should be unique, dynam­ic and mem­o­rable envi­ron­ments.”

The Cen­tre for Engi­neer­ing Inno­va­tion & Entre­pre­neur­ship is the cen­tral com­po­nent of U of T Engineering’s $200 mil­lion fundrais­ing effort, part of Bound­less: the Cam­paign for the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. Through its inter­dis­ci­pli­nary and col­lab­o­ra­tive intent, the Cen­tre encap­su­lates Engineering’s cam­paign goals and future, includ­ing devel­op­ing glob­al engi­neer­ing lead­ers, nur­tur­ing engi­neer­ing inno­va­tion and entre­pre­neur­ship, trans­form­ing bio­med­ical engi­neer­ing and human health, advanc­ing infor­ma­tion com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­o­gy and reshap­ing the future of ener­gy, the envi­ron­ment and sus­tain­abil­i­ty.

U of T Engi­neer­ing Dean Cristi­na Amon said she is look­ing for­ward to work­ing with Mont­gomery Sisam Archi­tects and Feilden Clegg Bradley Stu­dios on the project. “These two firms, with their expe­ri­ence in design­ing inno­v­a­tive research, learn­ing and teach­ing spaces, have shown they have the vision to cre­ate a sig­na­ture build­ing that will fos­ter the bound­less ener­gy and cre­ativ­i­ty need­ed for the future of engi­neer­ing in Cana­da,” Amon said.

Found­ed in 1978, Mont­gomery Sisam Archi­tects (MSA) is a mid-sized archi­tec­tur­al firm based in Toron­to. MSA has designed such build­ings as the Island Yacht Club and the Hol­land Bloorview Kids Reha­bil­i­ta­tion Cen­tre and has won more than 65 provin­cial, nation­al and inter­na­tion­al awards, includ­ing the 2011 Archi­tec­tur­al Firm Award from the Roy­al Archi­tec­tur­al Insti­tute of Cana­da. The firm has exten­sive ties with the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. Many of its archi­tects – includ­ing Davies – are U of T grad­u­ates. MSA has worked on oth­er U of T projects, includ­ing the revi­tal­iza­tion of the St. George Cam­pus Exam Cen­tre, and the Arts and Admin­is­tra­tion build­ing and Joan Foley Hall at U of T’s Scar­bor­ough cam­pus.

Feilden Clegg Bradley Stu­dios, also found­ed in 1978, is based in Lon­don, Eng­land, and has an inter­na­tion­al rep­u­ta­tion for design qual­i­ty, for pio­neer­ing envi­ron­men­tal exper­tise and a rad­i­cal archi­tec­tur­al approach. It has designed more than 60 edu­ca­tion­al build­ings, in Eng­land and around the world.

Pro­fes­sor Emer­i­tus Ron Ven­ter, who chairs the project plan­ning com­mit­tee for the Cen­tre, said the joint pro­pos­al from the two firms was very impres­sive. “We’re excit­ed to be work­ing with a local com­pa­ny that under­stands our vision and an inter­na­tion­al firm with a glob­al rep­u­ta­tion for sus­tain­able, ground­break­ing edu­ca­tion­al build­ings.

He not­ed that MSA has devel­oped sev­er­al projects in sim­i­lar urban set­tings and has par­tic­u­lar strengths in address­ing com­mu­ni­ty con­cerns. “The archi­tects and the uni­ver­si­ty will work close­ly with the uni­ver­si­ty com­mu­ni­ty, our neigh­bours and the City of Toron­to as the Cen­tre is designed and built. The end result will be a sig­na­ture build­ing that we can all be proud of.”

Found­ed in 1873, U of T Engi­neer­ing has approx­i­mate­ly 5,200 under­grad­u­ate stu­dents, 1,950 grad­u­ate stu­dents and 240 fac­ul­ty mem­bers. U of T Engi­neer­ing is at the fore of inno­va­tion in engi­neer­ing edu­ca­tion and research and ranks  first in Cana­da and among the top Engi­neer­ing schools world­wide.


For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:

Ter­ry Laven­der
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions & Media Rela­tions Strate­gist
Fac­ul­ty of Applied Sci­ence & Engi­neer­ing, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Tel: 416–978-4498