Through the
Filter: Pandemic Response in Toronto

Kristen Smith

About the Artist

Kristen’s experience encompasses a wide range of architectural modalities, including heritage conservation, landscape design and immersive installation environments. As an OAA Intern Architect with Moriyama and Teshima Architects, Kristen has contributed to both the conception and documentation of projects such as the Canada Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai and the Ottawa Police Service South Campus Facility. Prior to joining MTA, Kristen worked across Ontario and abroad, in both public and private sectors. She completed her M.Arch at Carleton University in 2019, where she was included on the RAIC Honour Roll.

About the Works

This project was originally developed in 2011, nearly a decade before Covid-19 spread across the globe. Working within a studio theme of ‘The Anthropocene’, this design response built upon Toronto’s experience with SARS in 2003, reminding the city of Toronto how vulnerable society remains to the outbreak of infectious disease.

Following SARS, the Public Health Agency of Canada issued an article outlining major public health critiques. These critiques informed several programmatic initiatives, many of which required integration with Pearson International Airport and its adjacent highway connections.

These programmatic initiatives are spatially expressed as an airport terminal with consistent health screening, high-volume quarantine units, consolidated administration and a warehouse.

This warehouse would store fever scanners and mobile point-of-care genetic testing units, which when deployed during a pandemic, would free up space to facilitate the distribution of basic provisions to individuals under home quarantine, and coordinate any social services they may require. An example of this would be child-care if the person under quarantine is a single parent with limited community support. Next, programmatic cores are integrated; interior connectivity is defined, flexibly bridging between program blocks and facilitating concise egress for contagious occupants; while lastly, exterior connectivity is defined, integrating the building with existing Terminal 1 infrastructure, the city of Toronto & the world at large.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.
Ryerson Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.