George Brown College envisions Limberlost Place (previously: “The Arbour”) as a landmark, tall wood, low-carbon building that will feature ecological innovation across its entire life cycle. A model for 21st Century smart, sustainable, green building innovation throughout Canada, Limberlost Place also has a Made in Canada structural solution where all of the mass wood components will be sourced nationally.
As the first tall wood building in Ontario, the design provides generous spaces focused on wellbeing and sustainability. The building form and façade will be shaped to maximize access to natural light and fresh air. Two solar chimneys located on the east and west facades will be used to create a sustainable system of natural convection, drawing air up and through the building from operable windows. A Lean Design Process aided the development of the assembly sequence for the floor, roof, and envelope elements. This has allowed for consistent specialist input based on a standardized project model and workflow, in addition to Facility Management planning, which was developed with extensive client input.
The large span, beamless structure will enable demising walls to expand and contract, providing flexibility of sizes for a variety of learning spaces. The angled apex of the Tall Wood Institute will speak to future advancements of tall wood technologies as well as the development of net-positive and low carbon building methodologies. The outer bars will house classrooms, labs, and administrative offices that look outward towards the Water’s Edge Promenade, Sherbourne Common, and the upcoming School of Design.
Lean design processes were implemented from the outset of the project with a clear set of ambitions that defined the success factors and value. After commission and during design, a project charter for sustainability was adopted. Both a methodology of assessing decisions based on adherence to the ambitions in the competition brief and a charter for viewing the design through the lens of the stakeholders, were implemented early on. An incredibly complex approvals process was organized through Lean workflow / critical path principles that were applied to the project schedule through design and proactive involvement with authorities having jurisdiction. The elimination of waste was achieved through committing to envelope prefabrication, for just-in-time delivery (eliminating storage need), and fabrication in a controlled environment, for quality control and optimization. The Lean pursuit of continuous iterations toward perfection was realized through a commitment to reduce risk and seek optimization by bringing on design assist partners for structure and envelope.
Limberlost Place is the first building of this type to be constructed in Ontario, in Canada and perhaps the world. The approvals process for this one-of-a-kind endeavour was complicated by constructing on the prominent East Bayside Community in Toronto. The architectural team utilized fly-throughs, 3-D models and numerous meetings with the Jurisdiction Authorities. One very positive outcome of this high-level of engagement on the process was the research and academic papers that have arisen henceforth, contributing to long-term research and understanding of mass timber systems.
George Brown College
Moriyama Teshima Architects + Acton Ostry Architects
Fast + Epp Structural Engineers
Mechanical and Electrical Engineering
Introba (Previously: Integral Group)
Transsolar KilmaEngineering Inc.
Building Code Consultant
GHL Consultants Ltd.
Building Code Consultant, Fire
CHM Fire Consultants
Canadian Architect, Award of Excellence (2018)
ReThinking the Future Award, Certificate of First Award (2018)
ReThinking the Future Award, Architecture, Construction and Design Award, Institutional Concept Category (2018)
MIPIM/The Architectural Review, AR Future Projects Award, Sustainability Prize (2019)
AZ (AZURE) Award, Best in Concepts: Unbuilt Project (2019)
AZ (AZURE) Award, People’s Choice: Unbuilt Projects (2019)
World Architecture News (WAN) Award, Future – Education Category (2019)
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies, Ontario Engineering Projects Award (OEPA), Willis Chapman Award – Best in Province (2021)
Association of Consulting Engineering Companies, Ontario Engineering Projects Award (OEPA), Award of Excellence (2021)
World Architecture Festival (WAF), Future Projects – Education Category [Shortlisted] (2022)
World Architecture Festival (WAF). WAFX Award (2022)
Architecture Press Release (APR), Global Future Design Award, Education Category – Gold Winner (2022)
Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel Awards, Excellence in Design Innovation (2022)
Rethinking the Future, Architecture Construction and Design Award, Institutional, Concept Category (2022)
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Awards, Research & Innovation in Architecture Award (2023)
Architizer A+ Awards, Sustainable Unbuilt Non-Residential Project [Jury Winner] (2023)
“The architects have skillfully demonstrated that the most aspirational environmental goals can be achieved in a building that is also inspiring for its beautiful and joyful spaces. Limberlost Place is what architecture should be in Canada.”
– 2023 RAIC Awards Jury
- Successful Urban Forum Event
- Limberlost Place Raised Pedway Installation Photos
- Urban Forum Event on Mass Timber Architecture
- Pedway Raised at Limberlost Place
- MTA Leads University of Toronto Students Through Limberlost Place
- Limberlost Place Construction Photos
- Big Lumber on Toronto’s Waterfront – The Globe and Mail
- CLT Panel Install at Limberlost Place
- Limberlost Place Construction Progress
- Limberlost Place Construction 2021 – 2022
- Phil Silverstein Presents at The Buildings Show
- Carol Phillips at the 2022 World Architecture Festival
- Limberlost Place Construction Update
- Two MTA Projects Win 2022 WAFX Awards
- Canadian Architect Releases Editorial: Building Resiliency
- Limberlost Place Wins Waterfront Toronto Award
- Limberlost Place Runner-Up in Rethinking the Future Architecture Construction and Design Award
- Limberlost Place Wins APR Global Future Design Award
- 6 Canadian Projects Win WAFX Award – 2 of which are MTA’s!
- Limberlost Place Refreshed Animation
- Fall Update on Limberlost Place Construction Progress
- Limberlost Place Featured in Construction Canada
- Limberlost Place Construction Update
- Limberlost Place Construction – Suspended Slab Formwork Starting!
- Limberlost Place to be a “Living Lab” – ConstructConnect
- Limberlost Place Wins 2022 World Architecture Festival WAFX Award
- Limberlost Place Shortlisted for 2022 World Architecture Festival Award
- Limberlost Place Construction Site in July
- CGI Fabrication Factory Visit – Limberlost Place Facade Systems
- Phil Silverstein on Facades+ Conference
- MTA Mass Timber Projects in Toronto Life Magazine
- Carol Phillips Presentation at ZAK World of Facades Conference
- Mass Timber Arrives at Limberlost Place
- Carol Phillips to Speak at World of Facades Conference in Toronto
- Salina Kassam Construction Photography
- Waterfront TO – Limberlost Place and the Mass-Timber Movement
- Limberlost Place Ground-Breaking Ceremony
- The Arbour | Virtual 3D Model
- Capturing Carbon Documentary
- Carol Phillips in FPAC Capturing Carbon Documentary Clip
- ‘The Arbour’ Wins Best in Unbuilt Buildings and People’s Choice Award at AZ Awards 2019!
- The Arbour Wins Sustainability Prize from 2019 Future Projects Award
- The Arbour Wins Certificate of First Award from Rethinking The Future
- The Arbour takes home Gold at the World Architecture News Awards
- WAN Awards Shortlist
- Moriyama & Teshima Architects + Acton Ostry Architects Win ‘The Arbour’ Competition
- We are finalists for the George Brown Tall Wood Building Competition!