The new Ryerson Image Centre and the School of Image Arts is a renovation and expansion of the almost windowless former brick brewery distribution warehouse which has been home to the School of Arts for nearly fifty years.
The project to design a class A museum facility resulted from the donation of the Black Star Collection, a pre-eminent collection of 292,000 iconic black and white images that chart the 20th-century through photojournalism. This newfound responsibility, along with the School’s own growing list of requirements, led the University to pursue a new state of the art, museum-standard, climate-controlled exhibition environment that would be integrated with a refreshed School of Image Arts.
Re-cladding much of the building in glass has provided new day-lit spaces for students and faculty while also connecting the building’s occupants with the surrounding campus activity. At night, the façade is further animated by multi-coloured, programmable LED lighting that signals the events taking place within. This innovative play of light provides a widely visible presence for the building in the heart of the Ryerson campus as well as creating a beacon for the campus within the city.