New College Student Residence / Saucier + Perrotte architectes

Architects: Saucier + Perrotte architectes
Location: Toronto, Ontario,
Program: Student Residences (277 beds, related functions, meeting spaces & sport room)
Constructed Area: 11,000 sqm
Project year: 2003
Photographs: Marc Cramer, Michael Awad & Saucier + Perrotte

The New College Residence of University of Toronto is intended to be a meeting place, a venue for the exchanging of ideas within both an academic and urban setting.

The organization of the architectural elements reflects the relationship of the student community with its surrounding urban campus environment. The lower levels become a gathering place for the community at large. Raised above the street, the mezzanine level contains the administration offices and reception and provides access to the residences above and the ground floor below. The versatile ground floor provides a theatre for public performances along with quiet study halls for the large student population.



Two unique hanging gardens promote the well-being of student life on campus. On Spadina Avenue, a wall of large perforated masonry plates floats above the transparent mezzanine level. This brick volume is complimented by a zinc and glass-clad volume which contains the East Garden and faces the St. George Campus. This three-storey space is a place of repose as well as an exterior community room available to all residents.

Connected by an interior stairwell, the West Garden is carved out of the brick facade at the northern end from the fifth to the eighth floors. This allows the evening sun to stream through the glass façade at the back of the garden and into the common areas behind.

The seven floors of residences create a community atmosphere intended to provide both a sense of home and the opportunity for social interaction. All common areas are co-ed and are located in the central circulation area between the two main volumes.

Cite: "New College Student Residence / Saucier + Perrotte architectes" 05 Jul 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • viniruski

    There’s a lot going on here, but amazingly works without drowning the design intent. Lots of stimulating spaces. These spoiled students will enjoy living here.

  • Amandazz

    I don’t understand…I am a 2nd year student and I feel this could have been much more inspired? and playful??…can someone kindly please email me on why so much of today’s architecture is blocky and emotionless??? Architect’s should be artists too, so as much as they are designing for ppl, so spaces will also functionally work, i don’t see why the couldn’t also put more loving, feeling driven work into it – without going over the top on the other hand too of course. I mean…the last thing you would want is some bloopy – ‘gehry’ like building that lacks relationship to context seemingly because it’s so artistic.

    • Amandazz

      point taken with the emphasis on cleanliness and details – i noticed those aspects about the project. but i still stick to what i said before.

      it’s not that i buy into bloop and whimsy, i just personally prefer to see architecture more as….expressive art, a bit of a dreamer i guess, and a lot of my student projects i do are actually more rational and ‘appropriate’ to what is needed. this is just something i personally express as a person, of someone trying to see architecture from the other side of ppl who don’t study it and the reason for why i eventually chose to study it. i understand a lot more of it now, but i still stick to some of my pre-student feelings. it is just a feeling.

  • alifencer

    Good building,classical-modernism volumes and plans with considerate details

  • viniruski


    I was ridiculed on the weekend for posting pics of Exeter Library on my facebook page: “Get over it! He’s from the 60s!”. And it just makes me realize that a lot of architects and designers out there don’t get it. And prolly never will. The problem with me is that I went to a school that emphasized history of modernism and doing meticulous precident studies before attempting to design. I never bought into the current culture of computer renderings, gay facades, and whimsical forms.

    There’s the opportunity for you Amandazz: perhaps you can present a critique of this project to your bushy tailed 2nd year classmates. I’m sure you’ll find the answer to your question.

  • student

    Well, as a student who has actually lived there, I must say that the architect’s intent is not really carried out here. The “hanging garden” that you see in the photo is rarely used and is often inaccessible (due to concerns about smoking, foul play, etc…).

  • And….

    …and, as somebody who has walked through, and by, this building, I must say that it does not add much to the character and liveliness of the street. Maybe that can be changed by adding more program at street level – which might speak more to the college (clients) than the architecture. Looks nice, anyhow.

  • BKMY

    How much more exciting can you get on a simple plan and section! Each face is basically a different skin, punch windows are sculptural boxes which gives so much depth to the one facade. Then the other is a clean window wall system that the operable windows reflects the sculptural boxes on the other side. So clean and clear from plan to section which reflects on the exterior…loving it.