Architecture Monday

Alright, after our look at the exterior it’s time to head inside!

What’s immediately cool is that the inside speaks the same language as the outside, both in brick and in the sculptural concrete, with the addition of wood, and all embellished with the restrained but lovely arts & crafts-like detailing.

Plus some art on the windows…

…and this very cool light fixture that’s fully incorporated into the equally nice ceiling.

While basement multifaith chapel was redone more recently, its intimate wood vaults continue the tradition.  Check out the ribs as well as the base of the vaults, with sculptural layers, joints, and more to subtly ornament the structure and the space.  Plus the integrated light fixtures along the base that allow the vaults to glow and separate themselves from the walls all around.

Though now used less often for this purpose, this thesis defense room might be a bit intimidating… fortunately that glowing inverted dome of spiral pattern goodness might provide some levity.

The pièce de resistance is the dining hall.  Even coming up the stairs you know something cool is happening.  The space expands dramatically above you with the hall awaiting through a sculptural portal.

Once inside you’re treated to all its expansive and illuminated glory where all we’ve seen so far comes together in brick, concrete, and wood all within a multitude of sculptural forms and carved detailing.  Inspiring enough that it was featured in Star Trek: Discovery season 4 episode 4!

Such a gem of a building.  Engaging and welcoming, warmly crafted and articulated, and has a great spatial sense throughout.  A definite boon for those in residence… I know I would’ve loved living there while I was in university.  Great stuff!

Massey College by Ronald Thom

Architecture Monday

When I visited home a few months ago, I had the fortune of being able to tour Massey College, a graduate residence at the University of Toronto.  Though built in 1962 I embarrassingly only learned about it a few years ago and had been wanting to visit ever since.

Right away you can see what captured my interest – it’s a lovely modern interpretation of an arts and crafts expression that also has a touch of Wright in it.

This all starts with the highly articulated brick walls, shaped into strong geometric forms that are further punctuated by openings or careful detailing, such as the copper caps or window sills, or even more intricate details such as the amazing metal work at the corners and the entry gate that could double as its own piece of artwork. (The cone does, admittedly, detract a bit…)

Crowning the clean lines of this base is the concrete and glass latticework that features sculptural flourishes and flair.  (These give me vibes of the kind of sculptural work Wright did at the Hollyhock house.)

The whole thing is built to enclose a large central courtyard punctuated by a clocktower that reaches its sculptural fingers to the sky.

The whole affair has a great rhythm, with mass and bold slabs that never feel over scaled that all play nicely off the intricate and highly carved insets, all with a strong vertical emphasis.  Very sweet piece of work, that only gets better on the inside… I’ll post that part next week!

Massey College by Ronald Thom

(Who, interestingly, also did many of the most famous buildings at Trent University.)