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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Greenwood College School – Building Character in Toronto, Canada by Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc.

April 2nd, 2018 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: v2com

Designed by Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc., the Greenwood College School Expansion is a 74,000-building addition located in mid-town Toronto. The dense, four-storey structure adjoins the existing school at every level above grade, increasing the School’s square footage by 120%. Making efficient use of limited land, it features a balanced mix of work spaces and social space that supports a personalized, new-century approach to learning.

West Elevation, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

  • Architects: Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc.
  • Project: Greenwood College School – Building Character
  • Location: 443 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, Ontario M4S 2L8
  • Photography: Shai Gil, Michael Van Leur, Peter Legris
  • Software used: Revit, Autocad
  • Client: Greenwood College School
  • Structural: RJC
  • Mechanical, Electrical, Lighting, Civil, Site Services): WSP
  • AV / IT / Security: Techwave Industries
  • Acoustics: Aerocoustics
  • Code: David Hine Engineering Inc.

Main Entrance, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

  • Sustainability / LEED / Energy Modelling / Commissioning: Enermodel
  • Soberman Engineering: Elevator
  • Constructor: Graham Construction
  • Cost: Turner Townsend
  • Area: 73,820 sq. ft.
  • Project End Date: April 2017

Rooftop Terrace, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

Rooftop Terrace Ariel, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil


Taking its cues from the landmark climbing wall erected in the heart of the existing school, the Expansion is designed to create a varied geography of spaces that support a diverse educational experience – one that integrates academic programs with social, cultural and recreational pursuits within a tightly packed building envelope. Its concrete structure with standardized structural grid assures future adaptability as programming evolves. Large, flexible classrooms, stacked along the south side accommodate increasing initiatives in co-teaching and interdisciplinary programming. An open and integrated floor plan connects these classrooms with specialized, state-of-the-art spaces for music, visual arts, digital media, theatre and athletics through a free flow of casual student spaces. These spaces, together with a glazed feature stair, promote activity, movement and interconnectedness across each floor and between building levels.

Curved Donor Wall and Reception, Image Courtesy © Michael Van Leur

Flexible Classroom, Image Courtesy © Michael Van Leur


The Expansion creates a positive condition in the City that both respects and engages with its urban, residential context. With the relocation and reconfiguration of a laneway, the building repairs urban fragmentation to create a seamless school property. The diverted laneway also improves traffic flow patterns and isolates school traffic from that of the surrounding community. The extension of the existing stucco façade along the front elevation produces a new accessible entry porch. The porch both enhances Greenwood’s visibility and presence on a major arterial road and serves to buffer neighbouring houses from this busy transit way. The building’s south end is reduced in height to a three-storey masonry block in deference to the scale and materiality of the adjacent residential street. The rooftop terrace is designed as a destination, affording a rare opportunity in a dense urban setting to connect interior teaching spaces directly to the outdoors with views overlooking the city. Expansive glazing along the ground floor façade and up the feature stair connects the life and animation of the school with that of the street. Landscaping initiatives enhance the pedestrian realm along all street frontages. Parking and service space, reduced to a minimum at the rear of the building, maintain the integrity of the public realm, both in and around the School.

Terrace Classroom, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

Informal Student Space, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil


The Greenwood College School Expansion is registered LEED Gold, with certification pending. A full range of metering systems are installed allowing students to access, through the intranet, a breakdown of energy use statistics for the building. These systems serve to decrease building running costs and reduce its impact on the environment, while educating students on daily energy consumption and green building practices.

Learning Resource Commons, Image Courtesy © Michael Van Leur

Feature Stair, Image Courtesy © Peter Legris

Feature Stair Mural, Image Courtesy © Peter Legris

Gymnasium, Image Courtesy © Michael Van Leur

Black Box Theatre, Image Courtesy © Michael Van Leur

Rooftop Terrace Ariel, Image Courtesy © Shai Gil

Site Plan, Image Courtesy © Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc.

Ground Floor Plan and Building Section, Image Courtesy © Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc.

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Categories: Autocad, College, Educational Center, Revit

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