“The OCAD building is responsible for a 2.5% increase in tourism to the city of Toronto”
David Miller, Mayor of Toronto
The Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) is one of Will Alsop’s most celebrated projects, its structure defies logic, the exemplary engineering allowed us to raise the building on stilts, above the existing buildings. The advantages of this were threefold; residents in the apartments opposite the college retained their views across the park which was the major concern voiced during consultation with Will, secondly, rather than demolish the existing buildings that had some heritage merit, these were preserved and allowed the activity within to continue, thirdly, OCAD’s design has attracted attention – as a tourist destination, as a desirable place to study and as a city placemaker used in advertisements for Johnnie Walker Whisky.
Similarly, our School of Medicine and Dentistry, the Blizard Institute for Queen Mary University London, has achieved the requirements of the brief – to attract and retain some of the brightest researchers in the world and to provide a facility for community engagement and science education. So successful is this facility ‘Centre of the Cell’ – the first of its kind in the world to be housed within a working laboratory – that aLL Design were commissioned to design and build a second education Centre. ‘Neuron Pod’ will double the capacity for hosting biomedical science education and is an extraordinary feat of design and engineering.