Established in 1925, the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study (JICS) was the first multidisciplinary institute at the University of Toronto. Its tripartite mission consists of three fully integrated components: a graduate teacher education program, the Dr. R.G.N Laidlaw Research Centre, and the JICS Laboratory School (Nursery to Grade 6) for 200 students.
A new 27,000 square foot, three storey addition connects the two old houses that previously accommodated the JICS to create a single unified and barrier free facility. Renovations to the existing houses were also included in the program.
The new building contains a multi-purpose gymnasium/auditorium with retractable seating, new classroom and amenity spaces for the Laboratory School, and study and lecture spaces for the Institute’s graduate program. Advanced teaching technology is incorporated into all classroom spaces.
The new entrance from Spadina Road is through a landscaped forecourt. Projecting out from the second floor over the entry, the new Lab School lunch/drama room presents a dramatic façade incorporating a deep bay window that can be “inhabited” inside by the children. The new entry lobby leads to a wide hall that looks out on one side into a linear garden and on the other down into the gymnasium/auditorium below. Circulation is defined by colourful floor patterns, combined with a palette of oak millwork.