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The ZAS wraps an engineering school in Toronto in a sheet of metal and glass

The ZAS wraps an engineering school in Toronto in a sheet of metal and glass

The Canadian company ZAS Architects + Interiors used an algorithm to create the triangular structure on the facade of the new Bergeron Center for Engineering Excellence in Toronto (+ slide show).

The building houses the Lassonde School of Engineering, which is part of York University. With 55,000 students, the public institution is the third largest university in Canada.

With an area of ​​15,700 square meters, the new academic facility overlooks a pond on the outer edge of the university campus in Toronto.

The five-story, egg-shaped building houses study rooms, laboratories and offices.

"A hub for entrepreneurship, collaboration and creativity, the facility is designed to advance engineering education and provide a platform for training the next generation of engineers," said ZAS, a Toronto-based company with offices in Vancouver and Dubai.

"The bold architecture of the Bergeron Center stands for limitless creativity."

The system is partially clad with a corrugated screen, which consists of around 9,000 triangular fields. The positioning was determined using a complex algorithm that was developed by Mesh Consultants in cooperation with the ZAS.

The screen consists of glass and aluminum panes in different colors.

"Reminds of the properties of a cloud and reflects light and patterns across campus and into the interior," the company said.

Renaissance principles of "innovation and nonconformity" inspired the design of both the exterior and interior of the building.

Inside, the company created an open environment with no lecture halls and fewer classrooms than a typical academic building.

Instead, most of the teaching takes place in light-flooded open rooms.

"Desks and lecture halls are being replaced with active classrooms," the company said.

"The layout overcomes barriers and creates opportunities for spontaneous interactions between teachers and students in numerous social spaces."

Faculty and Human Resources offices are in the center of the building, while the student areas are on the edge.

"In reverse to the typical structure, the students get access to the best and brightest rooms," said the company.

Audiovisual learning tools have been built into pods that encourage students to join on the fly, while the corridors are lined with banquets and whiteboards for brainstorming sessions.

An area called the Design Commons provides a place for students to develop and discuss business ideas.

The facility also has a multi-story laboratory for testing materials.

"Playful, unexpected design elements are brought into the environment at every turn and provide endless inspiration," said the company.

Other new academic buildings with patterned facades include the Ryerson University student center by Snøhetta in downtown Toronto and The Diamond by Twelve Architects in Sheffield, England.