Previously cloistered on a quiet minor street, this new home for Regis College, a Jesuit graduate school at the University of Toronto,  is prominently located at Queen’s Park Circle and Wellesley Street and kitty-corner to Ontario’s Parliament buildings.

The project includes significant renovations to the historic Christie House and a new modern glass and zinc 1,000 square-foot atrium seamlessly linking the original building with Fontbonne Hall, a 1950s-era college building behind and which houses the facility’s chapel and its new library at the lower level. Importantly, the new atrium provides Regis College with a new and welcoming urban address and a significant social space for the school’s faculty, students and visitors.

Centre stage in the generously proportioned atrium is a bright red dynamic curved plate steel stair which generously interconnects the main differing floor levels of Christie House, and lower library floor. The vertical axis inscribed by the stair is further defined with a circular skylight and is analogous to the sinuous Victorian stair of Christie House.

The atrium also houses a significant gift to the College; a full-scale facsimile of the St. John’s Bible – the first illuminated bible to be drawn in over 500 years. The large format volume sits in a custom designed wall mounted case. The stand provides museum quality security, humidity and light control, but also provides ease of access as each day a page of the volume is ceremoniously turned.

Credits
Architect: Larkin Architect Limited
Architect Team: Kevin Weiss – Design Principal, Scott Bailey – Project Manager, John Reynolds – Principal, Roberto Chiotti – Principal, Monika Bederna, Andrea Gaus, Jon Reed
Structural: Blackwell Bowick Partnership Ltd.
Mechanical/Electrical: PPM Engineering
Landscape: Vertech Landscape Architects

Contractor: Buttcon
Display Case Fabricator: Hollman Exhibits
Photography: Shai Gil, Eden Robbins