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York University - School of Finance

Taylor Smyth Architects

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Taylor Smyth Architects, Taylor Smyth Architects

Project Name

York University - School of Finance

Project Status


Year Completed



32,000 sq. feet



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Project Description

The end result of this design is an elegant office environment and meeting place reflecting York’s commitment to quality, where they may meet with and entertain major corporate and individual donors.

The relocation of four university administrative departments, the York Foundation, Communications Office, York Alumni, and Advancement Services provided the opportunity to redefine a marginalized administration building on the edge of campus as an important destination for visitors to the university and to create a head office for the university’s major fund raising campaign.

The design focused on opening up the existing labyrinth-like administrative building, exposing a series of existing skylights, originally obscured above a dropped ceiling. The entire interior was demolished to the bare structure so that the new design could take advantage of the existing under-utilized high volume of space and skylights. Organized around a glazed elliptical boardroom, and the newly exposed existing skylights, the elegant workplace is composed of a natural material palette of oak millwork, large glazed offices, and warm polished plaster surfaces flooded with natural light. Large floor to ceiling windows were introduced at strategic axes to create internal vistas terminating in views to the outdoors and allowing natural light to wash throughout the building interior.

The boardroom is equipped with a state-of-the-art portable touch screen controlled multimedia system. Also provided is a Media Studio for televised interviews and broadcasts, a call centre and publishing studio for the design and creation of print and non-print media material and university publications.
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