Original and Present Use:
So far, the building was initially called a school of business and commerce. At the current moment, Central Commerce Collegiate is a public school situated in Palmerston-Little Italy, Toronto, Ontario. In the course of development, it has transformed into a composite school (Central Commerce Collegiate Institute n. p.).
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Architectural Quality and Description
The columns of the Central Commence Collegiate are made of stone blocks and the walls and facades are made up of brown bricks. The windows are framed with white decoration. The doors are decorated with glass lights. Above the doors, there are windows with balcony and windows with four-two lights. The columns are also outfit with widows at the second and third floors.
The project is a three story construction with masonry walls designed in the neoclassical style. The building is symmetrically balanced; widows and doors are of monumental proportions. All windows have simple molded frames with lintels. This style became quite popular in the end of the 19th century. Front windows are constructed in groups of three with six-over-two wood sashes. The entrant door is decorated with carved stone; it has six-over-six lights and with surmounted molded hood.
The wings and the center portion have three quoins that are made of brick. The wings at identical sides of the construction are three bays wide that initially had three double-hung wood windows. In general, the construction has not changed, except for few interior and exterior details. In particular, as it is the example of 19th century architecture, the air conditioning system has been installed recently. Nevertheless, the entire building preserved its original, historic appearance.
The interior characteristics of the building are typical for the architectural style – terrazzo made up of concrete floors and ceilings finished with plaster. The interior doors opening are finished with wood doors and glass lights.
The inside windows are operable and, therefore, it is quite convenient for teachers to control air temperature and ventilation. The central air-conditioning system is installed in the main corridors of the collegiate. There rooms are finished with acoustic tiles at the ceilings, below the interior doors and upper portions of window frames.
A three story building is composed of three floors; the first one contains the lunchroom and classrooms. At the second floor, classrooms, auditoriums with library, offices, and the exhibit space are located. Entrances to the classrooms are situated at the third floor (Central Commerce CI n. p.)
The crawl space and partial basement stretches under the historic construction. In the building, there are a lot of unique interior features that had remained in the school after the World War second. In this regard, Central Commerce Collegiate can be considered as valuable historical construction performing the function of local amenity.
The classrooms at the first and the second floors are destined for conducting lectures and lessons. The offices at the second floor are occupied by teachers and professors. The library located at the second floor can be used both by instructors and students. This is also the place where students can conduct their researchers and prepare for their examinations. The exhibit space is destined for organizing various presentations and official meeting on special occasions. The classrooms can also be occupied by students and teachers for independent learning and research.
The room planning is organized in a relevant way, but there are still some lapses in function allocation. In particular, there should be a strict distribution of floor on the studying sections and reading sections. The offices, classrooms, and libraries are located at the same floor is not beneficial for the learning process and it would be more appropriate the divide functional zones more accurately.
Exterior and interior design belong to Neoclassical Architecture, which quite reminiscent of Late Baroque architecture. Hence, it primarily highlights planar qualities, but not sculptural volumes. The light and shade effects as well as projections and recessions are flatter; sculptural bas-reliefs are enclosed in tablets, friezes, or panels.
As a proof, the elements of building design also have features of the Georgian style and the Federal style architecture. It is worth saying that the architecture project is also a combination of neoclassical elements and Collegiate Gothic architecture. The Gothic elements are presented in the construction of front columns and stone cladding.
The architectural project personifies rationalistic orientation in construction. Strict lines, symmetric forms, and classic columns reminding of Roman ancient times are the main features of neoclassicism. All forms and are simple and relief decoration is traditionally focused on the roof edges.
Therefore, the building can be considered as a traditional architecture (Hopkins 120). More importantly, Central Commerce Collegiate fits the practical requirements of educational establishment and provides the construction with character that presupposes its utilitarian purpose. One of the practical features of the building is using a three-storey structure that was often used in the Canadian architecture (Carr 80).
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Contexts and Relationships:
The site is located not far from Fred Hamilton Park and Bickford Park. The entire area is surrounded by household and, therefore, the school has a beneficial condition in terms of destination and location. Located between Montrose Avenu and Roxton Road, the construction is located in the residential area. Central Commerce Collegiate Institute is an important example of vernacular architecture. Traditionally, such buildings were constructed along with the development of neighboring sites.
The site is located on a flat plateau in the central part of Toronto. It maintains its original topography. A large front lawn faces Montrose Ave and it is covered with grass. The building is surrounded by large trees that are located behind the school and it is located not far from housing district.
Since its foundation in 1916, the Central Commerce Collegiate Institute was initially constructed as a business school. Therefore, all facilities and building design were initially destined for the learning process.
At the present moment, the construction serves as an educational establishing providing various academic courses and programs.
State of the Building
Exterior Fabric Condition
The exterior fabric conditions of the building are almost perfect. The excellent conditions are predetermined by the building materials used in construction. Specifically, the utilization of brick and stone blocks ensure great durability of the building. However, the problem is that is impossible to assess the quality of brick with regard to its due date. The stone blocks are mostly presented as the building foundations. They also serve as the basic material in constructing the front columns.
Interior Fabric Condition
Interior fabric conditions were subjected to more serious alterations. Due to the constantly developing informational technologies, the interior should be constructed and equipped in accordance with the existing standards. In this regard, the Institute has a computer class at the second floor that should be better ventilated than others.
Due to the fact that the building was constructed in the half of the twentieth century, the structural stability is quite high due to its mass structure. Stone blocks and brick ensure the construction with good structural stability characteristics. Being presented in a traditional style that is far from modern construction the building has good characteristics for over a century.
Analyzing the data, the report has revealed that the building has a stable structure. The location and landscape are also congruent with the functions affiliated with the construction. In addition, a combination of Neoclassical and Gothic elements perfectly suits the practical utilization of the building and corresponds to the prevailing trend in the Canadian architecture. However, the building should be always monitored and evaluated to ensure that all structural component and durability of materials correspond to the existing standards.
Car, Angela. Toronto Architect Burke: Redefining Canadian Architecture. US: McGill-Queen’s Press, 1995. Print.
Central Commerce CI. Searching Toronto. Web.
Central Commerce Collegiate Institute. Toronto District School Board. Web.
Hopkins, George D. Creating Your Architectural Style. US: Pelican Publishing, 2009.