Ryerson University’s new Student Information and Advising Centre, located at the Gerrard Street entrance of the downtown Toronto campus, is the first point of contact for potential students. It is a new model of delivering information to students at the university; to accommodate the needs of a diverse student population, this central resource for all student inquiries and referrals eases interaction between students and their advisors. Here students have easy access to information on issues they may experience at school.
Upon entry, the students step into the lounge, a welcoming space for waiting and socializing. The adjacent counter serves the dual purpose of help desk and, when not in use, a touchdown area.
Views to the exterior courtyard give a lush green (weather permitting) backdrop to the space. The lounge area is delineated by a bamboo floor inset centrally within the space. Custom millwork wraps around an existing structural column and connects with the ceiling plane, incorporating light coves and linear diffusers. Millwork displays Ryerson brochures with low, open shelving that permits students to help themselves to the literature. Flat-screen monitors mounted on either side of the lounge update students on information of interest.
The materials palette, in keeping with the sustainable mandate for the space, feature such natural products as bamboo and linoleum flooring. Carpet tile and other components were chosen for their low-VOC rating, ensuring minimal off-gassing and high indoor-air quality. White quartz counters, brushed aluminum and glass panels contrast against earth-toned colours.
Design team: partner Valerie Gow and associate James Burkitt