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Munk School of Global Affairs at the Observatory - Past Project



Construction Type:  

New Construction




Heritage Toronto Awards: William Greer Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship, Award of Merit


  • Credit: Nicolett Jakab
  • Credit: Jon Horvatin
  • Credit: Nicolett Jakab
  • Credit: Nicolett Jakab


The Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto is one of the unique places in academia where world issues are studied and debated through a Canadian lens. To accommodate the success and growth of its programs, the School expanded its facilities with the adaptive reuse of the heritage Dominion Meteorological Building (1908 to 1909) into an interconnected hub for innovation and creative thinking.

The overall vision embraces the opportunity of its prime location on Bloor Street West to amplify Devonshire Place as one of the major portals into the University of Toronto campus. The architectural strategy respects the robust quality of the Romanesque Revival style and at the same time introduces thoughtful yet distinctively contemporary interventions.

The project prioritizes the preservation of the historic elevation on Bloor. The circular tower that once housed the telescope of the original Meteorological building is re-imagined with meeting spaces and a new glass clerestorey to create a viewing platform. The design strategy for the new interventions are light glass and steel to act as a counterpoint to the mass and rough-hewn texture of the historic Miramichi sandstone exterior.

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