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Designer selected for tall wood demo project

The Arbour will be home to Canada’s first Tall Wood Research Institute.

George Brown College has chosen the team of Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Acton Ostry Architects to design The Arbour – the school’s $130-million tall wood demonstration project in Toronto.

Moriyama & Teshima Architects is based in Toronto, while Acton Ostry Architects hails from Vancouver. The design team was announced on April 3 after being selected from a shortlist of four.

When complete, the 12-storey building will be home to Canada's first Tall Wood Research Institute – a research and learning facility focused on low-carbon, mass timber construction of tall wood-framed buildings in Ontario.

It’s expected to have innovative, sustainable features such as breathing rooms, which use solar chimney systems to capture and harness light and air for sustainable natural ventilation, flexible learning spaces, and nationally sourced mass wood components.

A Private Member’s Bill tabled by Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, which would help smooth the way for The Arbour's construction, is scheduled to be debated in the Legislative Assembly on April 26.

If approved, the Ontario Forestry Revitalization Act, 2018 would legalize the construction of wood-framed buildings of up to 14 storeys.

Current legislation only allows for the construction of six-storey wood-framed buildings.

Fedeli has said the bill was inspired by projects like The Arbour, as well as a desire to help kickstart the provincial forestry sector.

Construction of The Arbour is expected to start in 2021.