Jackman Law Building, Faculty of Law

University of Toronto, ON

Project Facts

  • Client

    University of Toronto

  • Location

    Toronto, ON

  • Status

    Completed 2016

  • Size

    160,000 Sq. Ft.

  • Partner

The renovation and addition to the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto is sited to make strong physical and visual connections to Queen’s Park and Philosopher’s Walk. It takes advantage of its prominent location by embedding the School within the campus while making it an integral part of the cityscape. The competition-winning design responds with three simple gestures to its surroundings: a crescent-shaped classroom and office wing overlooking Queen’s Park; the renovation of an outmoded library as a luminous pavilion connecting to Philosopher’s Walk; and the creation of a unifying gathering space, the Law Forum. The Forum, at the heart of the School, consolidates the previously dispersed faculty and enables the social relationships considered vital to the school’s success.


Several sustainability strategies target a LEED Gold rating. The design balances the ratio of transparent glazing to insulated wall in order to achieve maximum day-lighting while minimizing heating and cooling needs. Vertical stone fins run the height of the crescent façade to shade from south and west sun. Operable windows in the offices, fitted with roller shades for personal control, provide natural ventilation, and a native vegetation green roof on the library pavilion manages storm water. The new Faculty of Law has a sophisticated, visible presence that positions the Faculty amongst North America’s premier law schools.

Project Facts

  • Client

    University of Toronto

  • Location

    Toronto, ON

  • Status

    Completed 2016

  • Size

    160,000 Sq. Ft.

  • Partner

Select Awards

  • 2013 – Canadian Architect Award of Excellence

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Initial Concept Sketch by Siamak Hariri

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“Siamak is an architect’s architect. He has remarkable skills in being able to penetrate to the heart of an academic community, to understand its hopes and dreams, and then, quite remarkably, to translate these aspirations into inspirational and breathtaking design.”
—Ronald J. Daniels, Former Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
“Siamak is an architect’s architect. He has remarkable skills in being able to penetrate to the heart of an academic community, to understand its hopes and dreams, and then, quite remarkably, to translate these aspirations into inspirational and breathtaking design.”
—Ronald J. Daniels, Former Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Initial Concept Sketch by Siamak Hariri

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JackmanLaw Row3A

Progression of sketches and studies by Siamak Hariri, developing the façade of the building.

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Progression of sketches and studies by Siamak Hariri, developing the façade of the building.

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Façade Physical Model Studies

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Façade Physical Model Studies

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“The process has been highly collaborative; Siamak has spent a great deal of time and effort learning about our institution and its values, and his design expresses a deep understanding of our community.”
—Mayo Moran, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto
“The process has been highly collaborative; Siamak has spent a great deal of time and effort learning about our institution and its values, and his design expresses a deep understanding of our community.”
—Mayo Moran, Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto

Engaging in extensive façade studies, HPA ensured the formal language of the extension was carefully thought out to create a strong new image for the faculty. The two main shapes elegantly frame the central forum with vertical fins that enclose the structure.

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Façade Digital Study Models

Engaging in extensive façade studies, HPA ensured the formal language of the extension was carefully thought out to create a strong new image for the faculty. The two main shapes elegantly frame the central forum with vertical fins that enclose the structure.

Façade Digital Study Models

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Model View From the South

Model View From the South

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Following the curve of the street, the revitalized façade of glass and limestone fins distinguish the dramatic wing overlooking Queen’s Park Crescent. The semi-suspended curved wall and blinders shade the interior spaces from the south and west sun.

Following the curve of the street, the revitalized façade of glass and limestone fins distinguish the dramatic wing overlooking Queen’s Park Crescent. The semi-suspended curved wall and blinders shade the interior spaces from the south and west sun.

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The heart of the School is the Forum, a space which enables the social relationships considered vital to the School’s success. 

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JackmanLaw Row11B

The heart of the School is the Forum, a space which enables the social relationships considered vital to the School’s success. 

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JackmanLaw Row13

The design integrates heritage buildings constructed in 1902 and mid-century additions with a new building extension that dramatically transforms this site into a landmark destination in the core of the city.

JackmanLaw Row14

The design integrates heritage buildings constructed in 1902 and mid-century additions with a new building extension that dramatically transforms this site into a landmark destination in the core of the city.

Select Awards

  • 2013 – Canadian Architect Award of Excellence