A building skin refers to an exterior envelope that absorbs heat in summer months, thereby reducing energy costs. Led by architect Micheal Leckman of Diamond Schmitt Architects, we designed an envelope for the Centre for Green Cities at Evergreen Brick Works that anticipates creative interventions, as well as expressions from the building occupants. This is a facade that embraces emergent design and ongoing interpretations.

The moveable screens are carefully designed for efficient solar shading. Interspersed throughout the facade will be window boxes that hold plants that can extend throughout the screening, thereby establishing a living wall and vertical wetland to filter water. The boxes also present opportunity to establish vertical food gardens.



Where Rocks Talk – Geology Exhibit

Young Welcome Centre, Evergreen Brick Works

More than a century ago, workers from the Don Valley Brick Works cut deep into the slope and used the clay and shale to make the bricks that built Toronto. The extraction process turned out to be a geologist’s dream. The exposed layers of rock and soil offered a cross-section of deep history – a timeline of changing climates, life forms and landscape stretching over hundreds of thousands of years.

Glaciers usually scrape away earlier layers and sediment, destroying the specimens that contain clues of geological periods. At the Brick Works, earlier layers were left intact, providing evidence for advancing and receding glaciers, and proving that the Earth experienced warming and cooling periods – a fact unknown before geological research at this site.

The uniqueness of this north slope, and its importance for research purposes, was one of the original justifications for saving the Don Valley Brick Works from commercial development.

For this reason, an exhibit was created at Evergreen Brick Works to celebrate the significance of the North Slope. To create this exhibit, the North Slope was cast at each of the eight geological layers of the 200 ft high slope. From this, a “peel” was made and can now be studied in The Young Welcome Centre.

The peel shows approximately 135,000 years of geological history. The base layer is the Georgian Bay Formation, which is the bedrock of Toronto and dates back 450 million years.

exhibit designer and curator FERRUCCIO SARDELLA fabricator RESEARCH CASTING writers FRASER LOS, NICK EYLES graphic designer YULIYA TSOY art director LEA ANNE ARMSTRONG geological consultants NICK EYLES, ED FREEMAN project manager DAVID STONEHOUSE


In the ground floor hallway of the Centre for Green Cities at Evergreen Brick Works is the Green Design Exhibit. This exhibit tells a complex story of the transformation of an abandoned brownfield into an internationally recognized centre for sustainability. Large scale panels articulate the reasoning for the decisions made during redevelopment, as well as interpreting the significant sustainability features of the site. For anyone interested in sustainable development, it’s a fascinating case study worth learning about.

project manager and curator ROBERT PLITT exhibit designer FERRUCCIO SARDELLA graphic designer KAILA JACQUES art director LEA ANNE ARMSTRONG writers ERIN ELLIOT, FRASER LOS video MORGAN ZEIGLER architectural consultants MEGAN TORZA, JOE LOBKO, WALTON CHAN, MICHEAL LECKMAN contributing artist MICAH DONOVAN


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