Ryerson Student Learning Centre

  • Ryerson Student Learning Centre Northern Facades Project

Ryerson Student Learning Centre


Ryerson Student Learning Centre

Toronto, ON


Designed by the architectural team of Zeidler and Snøhetta, the stunning new Student Learning Centre marks Ryerson’s new face in downtown Toronto.

Northern Facades received the prestigious “Project of the Year” award from the Society of Facade Engineers for its work on the Ryerson building.

The triple glazed transparent glass skin of the 155,000 square-foot Student Learning Centre features a surface design consisting of a unique glass digital frit pattern that creates varying light qualities within the interior space. A Northern Facades custom unitized curtain wall system (60% recycled aluminum content) was designed for the project, the curtain wall was engineered and tested to accommodate the complex varying facade tilt angles and sloped skylights including an integrated mullion detail to accommodate interior mechanical sun shading. The unique glass frit pattern was required to transition onto the adjoining aluminum panel at the North elevation and Northern Facades working with a specialist supplier achieved this effectively through perforating the pattern into the metal panel.

Ryerson Student Learning Centre Northern Facades Project


Another distinctive, unique and complex feature of the building is the custom blue faceted dome ceiling and soffit designed and executed in Northern Facades Accumet panel system. The initial intent was for a ceramic blue tile however working with Zeidler/Snøhetta at the early design stage Northern Facades’ technical advisers put forward a number of panel mockups and material alternatives, Northern Facades’ Accumet System comprising of lightweight Alpolic-FR (Fire Rated) Prismatic finish ACM in a custom colour was the final choice. The ceiling needed to be light weight, meet fire code and also accommodate the unique triangular multi-faceted shape and enable cutouts to accommodate mineral fiber acoustic in-fills while maintaining panel integrity and stability.


Offsite construction, detailing and execution of the envelope scopes as an integrated entity was paramount to the performance and esthetic for this project and a Northern Facades total envelope proposal was chosen. Glazing & panels were modeled in 3D software using INVENTOR.

Northern Facades completed the total envelope including the roofing and green roof. Notwithstanding the complexities as outlined above this was a very restricted site at one of the busiest locations in downtown Toronto where logistics and safety were major challenges for the project.

As a further demonstration of Ryerson’s long-time leadership in sustainability, the building is LEED® Silver compliant. At least 50 per cent of the roof is a dedicated green roof.

The accompanying photos show the architectural uniqueness of Zeidler and Snohetta’s design and complexity of the facade and the design, engineering, skills and attention to detail and workmanship of Northern Facades’ glazing and metals trades.

Ryerson Student Learning Centre Northern Facades Project
Client name
Toronto, On