Alvin Huang—Craig Race Model Award
About the Award
For a student who demonstrates creativity and technique in the building of the architectural scale model.

The fragment model of the “Toronto Idea Exchange” project embodies an architectural gesture of layering through formal planar elements of the exterior massing and the interior programmatic spaces in between the planes. The model was created to investigate possibilities in connecting the interior with the exterior, to create a cohesive relationship between activities occurring within the layers of the building where users experience the exchange of ideas between the planes and program. The use of distinct white planes explored layering methods and how light can be utilized to illuminate the spaces inbetween during daylight and illuminate outwards during the night-time. Programmatic space activity is showcased by the orange acrylic, differentiating a different program on each floor. The adults posed in the model who are a darker blue represent wisdom, maturity, experience whereas the children are represented as clear, balanced, youthful. When interacting, ideas are shared amongst the people and it is represented in the shift in shades of blue.

The library stands as a gateway for the neighbouring communities to exchange ideas. Fluid circulation animates the ground floors as a community center, whereas above holds the main library stacks. The form accentuates unique moments found between the stacks of the library. The idea exchange evolved from the ‘library’ to become more than just a place that houses information; it has become a collaborative space where users can simultaneously learn and create. In a library today, the constant flow of information is shared not only from books, but also from digital mediums of our technological era. Moreover, the increase of information inspires an application for the knowledge, whether through creation, presentation, or conversation. Thus, the renovation of the library typology is much needed to fit the ever growing minds of humanity. The architectural gesture of the massing mimics the moments seen between stacks, where minds are immersed in an idea exchange through reading. These fruitful moments are evident in the program of the library and are divided by vertical planes of walls expressed in the form.

The inclusion of a gateway library on Queen Street and Sudbury street activates an interactive space which links the contrasting neighbourhood split by Dufferin Street. The careful consideration of circulation and ample public space animate the node as a space for gathering and conversing. The combination of spaces to learn and places to create in maker spaces, invites users to not only ponder, but to experiment with their ideas. In addition, transparency within pathway fluidity throughout the site and library create the building as both a place to share ideas as well as a gateway into more public spaces of the city.

Design Partner: Carolina Ramirez

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.