2022 GFD 🏆 Awards

Gold Winner | Limberlost Place | Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Acton Ostry Architects

George Brown College envisions Limberlost Place, a new addition to the school’s waterfront campus, as a landmark, tall wood, low-carbon building that will feature ecological innovation across its entire life cycle. A model for 21st Century smart, sustainable, green building innovation throughout Canada, the 225,000 SF, zero carbon energy Limberlost Place also has a Made in Canada structural solution, where all the mass wood components will be sourced nationally.

Global Future Design Awards 2023: Entries Open! 

Gold 🏆 Winner
Global Future Design Awards 2022

Limberlost Place
Educational Architecture (Under Construction)

Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Acton Ostry Architects

Carol Phillips & Russell Acton

Design Team
Carol Phillips, Jay Zhao, Will Klassen, Russel Acton, Milos Begovic 

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


©Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Acton Ostry Architects

As the first institutional tall wood building in Ontario, the design provides generous spaces focused on wellbeing and sustainability. The building form and façade will be shaped to maximize access to natural light and fresh air. Two solar chimneys located on the east and west facades will be used to create a sustainable system of natural convection, drawing air up and through the building from operable windows. A Lean Design Process aided the development of the assembly sequence for the floor, roof, and envelope elements. This has allowed for consistent specialist input based on a standardized project model and workflow, in addition to Facility Management planning, which was developed with extensive client input.

The large span, beamless structure will enable demising walls to expand and contract, providing flexibility of sizes for a variety of learning spaces. The angled apex of the Tall Wood Institute will speak to future advancements of tall wood technologies as well as the development of net-positive and low carbon building methodologies. The outer bars will house classrooms, labs, and administrative offices that look outward towards the Water’s Edge Promenade, Sherbourne Common, and the upcoming School of Design.

Lean design processes were implemented from the outset of the project with a clear set of ambitions that defined the success factors and value. After commission and during design, a project charter for sustainability was adopted. Both a methodology of assessing decisions based on adherence to the ambitions in the competition brief and a charter for viewing the design through the lens of the stakeholders, were implemented early on. An incredibly complex approvals process was organized through Lean workflow / critical path principles that were applied to the project schedule through design and proactive involvement with authorities having jurisdiction. The elimination of waste was achieved through committing to envelope prefabrication, for just-in-time delivery (eliminating storage need), and fabrication in a controlled environment, for quality control and optimization. The Lean pursuit of continuous iterations toward perfection was realized through a commitment to reduce risk and seek optimization by bringing on design assist partners for structure and envelope.

Limberlost Place is the first building of this type to be constructed in Ontario, in Canada, and perhaps the world. The approvals process for this one-of-a-kind endeavour was complicated by constructing on the prominent East Bayside Community in Toronto. The architectural team utilized fly-throughs, 3-D models and numerous meetings with the Jurisdiction Authorities. A positive outcome of this high-level of engagement on the process was the research and academic papers that have arisen henceforth, contributing to long-term research and understanding of mass timber systems.