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University of Toronto: Landscape of Landmark Quality

University of Toronto: Landscape of Landmark Quality

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The University of Toronto’s King’s College Circle is an iconic ceremonial landscape, an important hub of student life, and a beloved public space. Part of the landscape plan produced by William Mundie and William Storm in conjunction with the designs for the landmark University College (1856-1859), King’s College Circle began as a picturesque landscape setting for the pavilion-style building. Significant new construction shaped King’s College Circle through the twentieth century as additional colleges and faculties were built. Beaux-Arts planning principles led to the extension of King’s College Road in the 1920s which formalized the axial view north to University College.

The Landmark Project proposes a coordinated series of landscape upgrades for the St. George Campus, including removal of vehicular access within Kings College Circle to reclaim the historic campus core for pedestrians and cyclists.

ERA Architects was retained by KPMB Architects to provide heritage consulting services and assess the impact of proposed alterations related to the University of Toronto Landmark project.

ERA’s Heritage Impact Assessment addressed these upgrades and the related insertion of below-grade parking under the King’s College Circle lawn. The HIA includes complex heritage policy review integrating the University’s current secondary plan update process. Through analysis of the site’s historic context and its patterns of use, circulation, and space, ERA’s assessment of the Landmark Project highlights the design strategy as a sensitive, contemporary response to the area’s role as a ceremonial landscape that predates the automobile.

University of Toronto
KPMB Architects

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