Dezeen Magazine

Visualisation showing an indoor swimming pool

Ten architecture projects by Toronto Metropolitan University students

Dezeen School Shows: a project that proposes a new aquatics and community centre in Hamilton, Canada is included in Dezeen's latest school show by Toronto Metropolitan University.

Also included is a thesis that examines informal settlements in the Philippines that are more vulnerable to extreme weather events caused by climate change and a housing project in Italy designed to accommodate refugees.

Toronto Metropolitan University

Institution: Toronto Metropolitan University
School: Department of Architectural Science

School statement:

"At Toronto Met's Department of Architectural Science (DAS), we solve real-world problems through design and building expertise.

"Because of our interdisciplinary structure, our students have a deep understanding of every stage of the projects they undertake – from design, to detail to delivery.

"DAS is the only school in Canada that integrates architecture, building science and project management.

"Our faculty are widely recognized for their rigour, diverse experience and creative teaching approaches.

"They generate impact by applying their expertise to pressing social, cultural, economic, health and environmental challenges via the following areas of scholarly research and creative activity: architectural practice, architecture and culture, energy efficiency, high performance systems/enclosures/materials, managing construction projects, new media and the virtual world and sustainable buildings.

"Our talented undergraduate and graduate students take advantage of our extensive theoretical, technological and experiential learning opportunities.

"They are passionate about issues such as the challenges of urbanization, globalisation, sustainable design and social housing, and are highly valued by the profession when they graduate.

"Many go on to establish careers with well-known international firms such as BIG, Shigeru Ban Architects, Turenscape and Transsolar, or local firms such as Raw Design, Diamond and Schmitt Architects, and Moriyama & Teshima."

Presentation board showing a house floor plan and various other drawings

Blurring Boundaries: An Architectural Symbiosis of Human and Non-Human Realms by Nicole Li

"There exists a divide between the human and non-human realms, imposed by architecture's spatial definition in which non-humans are suppressed by the modern city.

"The exploitation and marginalisation of the non-human realm continually contribute towards anthropocentric thinking and threatens ecological stability.

"This thesis will question the boundaries between the human and non-human realms by dissecting their components and attempting to negotiate new relationships.

"Operating between scales, perception, time and contexts, the thesis aims to reveal the nature concealed by architecture."

Student: Nicole Li
Course: M Arch
Award: RAIC Honour Roll

Visualisation showing people in a marketplace

Untitled by Yara Ragab

"When conflicts arise, architecture inevitably suffers in a physical manner, impacting people's lives, and leading to the loss of the cultural essence of a place – in Aleppo, Syria's second-largest city, much of the old historic quarter has been destroyed.

"Currently, it is in the post-war recovery phase, where rehabilitation projects have started to take place.

"This thesis explores a theory of application as a guideline for critical interventions in the ancient city of Aleppo’s Al-Madineh souk complex, through means of reconstruction and

By tackling intentionally damaged cultural heritage, considering the traditional elements and spaces that allow for the continuity of intangible qualities, as well as enhancing the functional spatial qualities, it proposes how to achieve contemporary solutions respecting local heritage."

Student: Yara Ragab
Course: M Arch
Award: ARCC King Medal

Visualisation showing people in a seaside settlement

Embracing Informality: Panarchy as a Model of Change in the Philippines' Informal Settlements by Ted Bulaclac

"The Philippines is one of the most vulnerable countries when it comes to natural disasters as a result of climate change.

"Moreover, due to its socioeconomic status as a consequence of colonisation, corruption and exploitation of both the people and resources, the effect of these disasters is further amplified – informal settlements with slum-like conditions are the ones that are most impacted by such calamities.

"This thesis will explore informal settlements in the Philippines to identify the different social and physical dynamics that occur within.

"Panarchy, an ecological theory that describes the complex relationship between systems of people and nature, will be used to further understand these complexities.

"Panarchy will also serve as a framework to guide architecture on multiple scales to initiate change and provide support in the form of an intervention that focuses on being able to adapt to the unpredictable changes in the environment."

Student: Ted Bulaclac
Course: M Arch
Award: The Ontario Association of Architects Guild Medal

Presentation board showing various other drawings

A Framework for Memory: Designing between Objective Realities and Subjective Experiences by Minji Jasmin Kim

"The everyday spaces we inhabit are defined not only by their formal structures but through the experiences which unfold within them.

"Oftentimes, design is focused on efficiency, productivity and operations; creating homogeneous environments which limit the potential for exchanges between mind, body and space.

"In contrast, this thesis proposes the ‘framework for memory’ as a design approach that focuses on the tangible and intangible aspects of memory associated with a particular place.

"By linking memory to place, the framework embraces intersubjectivity in the design process."

Student: Minji Jasmin Kim
Course: M Arch
Award: AIA Medal for Academic Excellence

Photograph showing a structure on a sandy beach

Untitled by Alex Winslow

"In November 2021, myself and four other students began developing a design for Winter Stations 2022 – an annual international design-build competition held at Toronto's Woodbine Beaches.

"We approached the theme of resilience by balancing both practicality and innovation: we created a prefabricated timber egg-crate structure with a dynamic cladding made up of recycled towels cast in concrete with different-sized openings.

"As a design team member, I learnt the importance of developing a conceptual architectural idea alongside actualised construction logistics, such as resolving its structural intricacies and staying on budget and on time."

Student: Alex Winslow
Course: BArchSc
Award: Ledcor Construction Ltd

Visualisation of figures in a sunny courtyard garden

Untitled by Jumana Elamin

"The housing crisis is an issue facing the entire world and Italy is not exempt from this crisis.

"Borgo Segezia is a town in the Foggia region of Italy that was part of a new initiative to house one thousand refugees coming to the country.

"The city is underdeveloped and currently has modest infrastructure and one hundred houses.

"The project's scope was to revitalise the town and design new housing to accommodate the incoming refugees."

Student: Jumana Elamin
Course: BArchSc
Award: The Pella Travel Award

Visualisation of an interior circulation space lined with wood

Untitled by Lala Leung

"For ASC520, the brief was to design a community centre in the heart of Hamilton.

"My goal was to create a building that not only ensured occupant comfort but also prioritised sustainability.

"Given the broad nature of sustainability, I have chosen to focus on these specific aspects for this project: embodied and operational carbon reduction and the incorporation of renewable energy sources."

Student: Lala Leung
Course: BArchSc
Award: Minto Sustainability Award in Architectural Science

Photograph of an architectural model

Untitled by Rinih Lazar and Keithleen Garcia

"The proposed project was a response to the development of Dufferin Grove Village at Bloor and Dufferin.

"The existing site had two different schools, the Kent School and Bloor Collegiate Institute, of which both were demolished and the site developed as mixed-use rental buildings.

"In response to the development, the project looked at creating a new alternative educational and community facility in the area for the community."

Students: Rinih Lazar and Keithleen Garcia
Course: BArchSc
Award: Ontario Association of Architects Exceptional Leadership Through Design Excellence: Sustainability Award

Visualisation showing an indoor swimming pool with diving boards

Aqua centre by Raya Allataifeia

"The aqua centre is not just a modern recreational facility – it's a celebration of history, culture and the environment.

"Situated on a historical First Nation trade path, it pays homage to its roots by prominently featuring the path in its design.

"The program is ingeniously split into three major masses, each with a distinct purpose, yet all interconnected through a negative space that symbolizes the significance of the trade route.'

"The sections are not isolated, but visually connected, reinforcing the idea of community and shared activity."

Student: Raya Allataifei
Course: BArchSc
Award: Toronto Society of Architects Award

Visualisation showing a structure in a field

The Impact of ArchViz by Kelvin Hoang

"To supplement the typical architectural drawing set, visualisation has assumed a pivotal role in showcasing the core essence of a design concept.

"A digital rendering is about evoking profound emotional responses, making spaces come alive and fostering a deep sense of connection with the built environment.

"Architectural visualisation possesses the capacity to encapsulate things that drawings fall short of, including elements such as the interplay of light, shadow, material and form.

"In ASC 520/620, we were tasked with master planning a city block and designing an aquatic centre to revitalise the urban space of Hamilton, Ontario.

"In every rendering, I find it important to maintain a level of visual excitement and composition – leading lines, the rule of thirds and visual contrast are all elements I consider in my work."

Student: Kelvin Hoang
Course: BArchSc
Award: Norm Li Award for Outstanding Architectural Visualisation

Partnership content

This school show is a partnership between Dezeen and Toronto Metropolitan University. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.