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University of Toronto has been constantly adding new faculty buildings. The recent addition to these buildings is the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (CCBR). The unique structure designed by the Behnisch & Partner and arch

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Introduction

In the last few years, University of Toronto has been constantly adding new faculty buildings. The recent addition to these buildings is the Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research (CCBR). The unique structure designed by the Behnisch & Partner and architectsAlliance, stands on the urban landscape as a representation of 20th century architectural sophistication and construction methods. Though, the building is an example of 20th century architectural aesthetics, the design demonstrates a strong connection to the work of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe. The open concept floor plan, the composition of architectural elements and the perceptional characteristics of the materials show similarities towards the free-plan of Le Corbusier and the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe. In order to understand these similarities, it is essential for one to be familiar with the intriguing design of the CCBR. The 221,120 square-foot building consists of ten open concept floors for the use of medical and pharmaceutical researchers. The entire structure of the building is covered in glass. The double-south glass fa´┐Żade provides the strong control of daylight, depending on the specific research requirements. ...read more.

Middle

Leading from the entrance to the rear of the building, there is an open pathway, emphasizing the spatial composition of the building. There are large open floor areas on the entrance and rear, to balance the enclosed rooms in the center of the ground floor. The solid walls are thin in thickness, appearing as screens. These screens walls are not joined to the ceiling, reflecting the concept of free arrangement of walls with no regard to the wait of the ceiling. Once again, this free design of ground plan can be related to the free-plan presented by Le Corbusier. Lastly, the use of concrete for columns and few walls in the CCBR, also replicate the use of concrete and steel by Le Corbusier in his work. Thus, characteristics found in the open-concept ground plan of the CCBR, show likeness of the free-plan by Le Corbusier. Aside from Le Corbusier's free-plan, the materials and composition of CCBR also represent similarities of the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe. The relationship of interior to the exterior was extremely important in the design of Barcelona Pavilion. ...read more.

Conclusion

Even though, the CCBR is a high rise plaza, the transparent glass and steel structure eliminates the sense of heavy solid facade, as a result the building doesn't feel especially high. Moreover, the use of factory manufactured wood paneling and mosaic also take place of heavy ornamentation and detailing, similar to the concept presented by the polished marble and chrome columns in Barcelona Pavilion. Therefore, it is evident that the features of the Barcelona Pavilion can easily be related to the design of CCBR. In sum, all the above mentioned features of the CCBR demonstrate a strong relationship towards the Barcelona Pavilion by Mies van der Rohe and the free-plan by Le Corbusier. The characteristics of Le Corbusier's free-plan are easily evident through the open concept floor plan of the building. The relationship of exterior to interior enhanced by the glass facade, remind one of the Barcelona Pavilion. Lastly, the materials used in the CCBR, manage to create perceptions alike those created by the materials used in Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier's projects. As a result, the CCBR is a unique architectural landmark of the 20th century and a building that reflects on earlier projects in modern architecture period. 1 ...read more.

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