Art needs light, and the newly renovated and expanded 47,500-square-foot Ryerson Image Centre at Ryerson University in Toronto uses architecture to complement that need. Diamond Schmitt Architects removed the formerly opaque brick and reclad the building in white ceramic-fritted glass panels that introduce daylight to the interior.

Ryerson Night NW corner Tom Arban

Photo: Tom Arban, courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects

The new panels also function as light boxes for the multicolored LED schema in a lighting design by Consullux Lighting Consultants, which earned the project an AL Light and Architecture Design Award. The LED panels light up the building exterior by night, metaphorically reflecting on the outside what’s happening inside and tangibly reflecting in the pool near the building entrance. Read our definitions of the bridge below.

amend (verb) ə-‘mend
To change or modify for the better. Formerly, the Ryerson Image Centre was a 35,000-square-foot brick box—hardly correspondent to its visual arts-oriented program. By adding 12,500 square feet, increasing daylit spaces, and modernizing the exterior, Diamond Schmitt Architects’ design amends the interior academic program. 

Ryerson Night west facade Tom Arban

Photo: Tom Arban, courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects

polychromatic (adj) ‘pä-lē-krō-‘ma-tik 
Showing a variety or a change of colors. Programmable LED lighting lines the backing of the exterior frit-glass panels, and at night, the panels are illuminated with a polychromatic display that anyone walking by with a smartphone can interact with.