ALPOLIC® Makes the Impossible Possible: Ryerson University Student Learning Centre

When they decided on a crystalline, gem-like appearance for the Student Learning Centre, they struggled to find a supplier who could provide materials for the building’s stunning faceted entryway and atrium within their budget.

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September 22, 2015 |
Ryerson University Student Learning Centre, Ontario, Canada ALPOLIC®/fr Custom Prismatic SEP Blue Finish.

Ryerson University Student Learning Centre, Ontario, Canada ALPOLIC®/fr Custom Prismatic SEP Blue Finish.

It’s said that Ryerson University can be found at the intersection of Mind and Action. Ryerson’s new Student Learning Centre can certainly be found there, although the actual street address is the intersection of Yonge and Gould, in the busy heart of Toronto, one of the world’s most vibrant and diverse cities.

Mohamed Lachemi, Ryerson University’s provost and vice president academic, says the Student Learning Centre project was already engaging the minds and actions of Ryerson students long before the first shovel was turned. “Students are part of everything we do at Ryerson,” Lachemi says. “Student groups in the hundreds were involved in the initial discussion about the building, the nature of the building, and also the function the building provides.”

In 2009, a competition was held to choose a design team to make what the students envisioned a reality. Zeidler Partnership Architects, a leading Canadian firm, joined forces with the celebrated international firm Snøhetta to win the competition. When they decided on a crystalline, gem-like appearance for the Student Learning Centre, they struggled to find a supplier who could provide materials for the building’s stunning faceted entryway and atrium within their budget. Terra cotta tiles were too heavy in the necessary sizes, and both glass-fiber reinforced plastic and welded sheet aluminum were prohibitively expensive and would take far too long to fabricate.

Fortunately, ALPOLIC and Flynn Canada was up to the task. ALPOLIC®/fr fire-retardant aluminum composite materials were easier to fabricate, more practical to install, and considerably more affordable than the alternatives. And Lumiflon® FEVE in ALPOLIC® Custom Prismatic SEP Blue Valfon® coatings supplied by Valspar allowed the architects to replicate the blue iridescence they originally envisioned in glazed tile. 

Ryerson University Student Learning Centre, Ontario, Canada ALPOLIC®/fr Custom Prismatic SEP Blue Finish

Yet another ambitious vision brought to life by ALPOLIC® materials.

See more photos of the Ryerson University Learning Centre and other projects 

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