Osgoode Hall Law School – York University Building

Osgoode Hall Law School Building, York University Toronto, Canadian Architects, Design

Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto : York University Building

Ontario Architecture, Canada – design by Diamond Schmitt Architects

19 + 18 Apr 2012

Osgoode Hall Law School Toronto

New Building at York University

Design: Diamond Schmitt Architects


Diamond Schmitt Architects brings ‘new window on justice’

April 18, 2012, TORONTO – A newly transformed Osgoode Hall Law School opened officially today at York University in Toronto. An extensive renovation and expansion of the 43-year-old facility adds study and administrative space and brings a welcome infusion of natural light and improved amenities to better serve Canada’s largest law school with more than 1000 students and 155 full-time and adjunct faculty.

Osgoode Hall Law School exterior ; Library ; Gowlings Hall:
Osgoode Hall Law School Toronto Osgoode Hall Law School Toronto Osgoode Hall Law School Toronto
photos : Horst Herget Photography

The 215,000 square-foot project reorganizes faculty departments, student services and Law Library around a new atrium, providing a sense of light and orientation missing in the 1960’s historically listed building. “The original structure was built at an unfortunate time when there was not as much regard for natural light as there is now,” said Jack Diamond, Principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects.

A thorough renovation of the five-storey building included the complete removal of asbestos and similar hazardous substances, full replacement of mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire protection services and demolition of the majority of internal partitions, ceilings and finishes to allow for a total reorganization of functional program spaces. The construction of a 23,000-square-foot single-storey addition accommodates student services and amenities. The modernized building infrastructure is registered for LEED CI Silver certification.

“The building is organized around a central atrium and galleria that forms the east-west spine of the Law School, providing clearly defined building orientation and circulation and acts as the social hub of the school”, added Diamond. Key student and public facilities, including library, lounges, cafeteria and academic services are accessed from the galleria concourse.

The Osgoode Hall Law School Library, with one of the largest legal document collections in the Commonwealth, is consolidated and reorganized into windowed space on the lower two floors of the building. Faculty offices and graduate student offices, as well as numerous research institutes, are coherently arranged on the upper floors of the building and primary teaching spaces are retained in the renovated, two-storey east wing.

The federal and provincial governments each provided $12.5 million under the Knowledge Infrastructure Program. York University, partners and donors contributed an additional $32 million. The building is named the Ignat Kaneff Building in recognition of the lead private donor.

“The expansion and renovation of the Ignat Kaneff Building is a significant component of York’s plan to meet the needs of our students in Canada’s growing knowledge-based economy,” said Mamdouh Shoukri, President and Vice-Chancellor of York University.

Photo: Horst Herget Photography

Osgoode Hall Law School Toronto image / information from Diamond Schmitt Architects

Diamond and Schmitt

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