The design of One Spadina's new landscape has received a 2019 National Award from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.
Part of the University of Toronto and home to the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, the new landscape at 1 Spadina Crescent was designed by the landscape architecture firm PUBLIC WORK, in collaboration with NADAAA.
Previously the site of a parking lot and inaccessible lawns, the landscape at 1 Spadina Crescent has been transformed with new entry plazas and a perimeter promenade that invites visitors through a variety of landforms, from gentle grade inflections to more majestic inclines and steep vegetated slopes with native plantings.
Sustainability features are a key part of the design. Rainwater runoff from the site is filtered through plantings, bioswales, and permeable pavement before reaching a cistern that collects 95% of the rainwater that falls on the site, which will be used to irrigate the Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory on the roof of the Daniels Building.
The new landscape was also conceived as a site of learning for Daniels Faculty students. The site’s largest landform, known as Darwin’s Hill, showcases different slopes and soil stabilization techniques, as well as an experimental garden. The 6.5m tall reinforced landform was constructed with reclaimed site soils excavated from the building’s sunken north court.
"The complete transformation of One Spadina enables profoundly different civic relations, more fluid community connections, and new social and ecological environments embedded within a landscape for learning," writes the CSLA on its website. "With its prominent location and dramatic topographical landscape, the project charts a new role for the institution within the campus and the city."
Photos by Nic Lehoux