Minor ventilation Disruption - 100 McCaul

Please be advised that on Wednesday December 20th, from 9:30am until 3pm there will be minor ventilation disruption as OCAD University Facilities Maintenance are completing planned maintenance on the HVAC Units in the Sharp Center. There is be minor interruptions to ventilation on the 5th and 6th floor.  If you have any questions or concnerns please contact workrequest@ocadu.ca or 416-977-6000 x600

We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your understanding. 

10: Sharp Centre for Design Anniversary Exhibition

Janie Reed, Feet First, 2003. Digital print, 7 x 9 in. (18 x 23 cm).
Thursday, November 27, 2014 - 5:00am to Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 4:00am

It’s been called “courageous, bold and just a little insane”. 10 years, later, the Sharp Centre for Design continues to make a bold statement. This exhibition celebrates the Sharp Centre for Design’s first decade with works inspired by its bold and lively presence.

Curated by Janna Eggebeen.

Special thanks to Will Alsop Design and ALL Design, Scott Hillis, Hadley Obodiac, and Caroline Robble.


Sharp Centre for Design, OCAD University, design and construction 2000 to 2004



  • Alsop Architects with Robbie/Young + Wright Architects Inc.
  • Carruthers & Wallace Ltd. and MCW Consultants Ltd., structural engineers
  • Peter Caldwell, Executive Vice President, OCAD U Project Steering Committee
  • Rosalie and Isadore Sharp, benefactors

Building Facts:

  • centerpiece of a $42.5 million campus redevelopment project
  • 6,215m2 of new studio, workshop, office and classroom space
  • tabletop is 80 metres long by 30 metres wide, 10 metres high, and 26 metres above ground
  • structural system is an intersecting grid of steel Vierendeel trusses
  • cladding is white aluminum tiles with a random pattern of black tiles
  • concrete core contains elevators and 15 flights of stairs
  • 12 tapered rainbow-hued steel columns, each 28 metres long by 0.914 metres in diameter
  • each pair of columns is bolted to three caissons buried 18 metres below ground


  • Worldwide Award, Royal Institute of British Architects, 2004
  • Engineering Award of Excellence, Ontario Region Steel Design Awards, Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, 2004
  • Award of Excellence, Toronto Architecture and Urban Design Awards, 2005
  • Most Technically Innovative Project, Canadian Consulting Engineers Awards, 2005
  • HUE Award (to Will Alsop), Benjamin Moore, 2006


Architect Will Alsop unorthodox design process begins with abstract paintings and community workshops that encourage a blue-sky conceptualization of the project. At OCAD U, this non-linear, collaborative and ad hoc approach was by turns contentious and serendipitous. By March 2001, the three towers concept represented in the model had morphed into the tabletop, which maintained the neighbors view of Grange Park, opened up stunning panoramas from the studio windows, and provided a new space for play: Butterfield Park.

The playful transformation of ordinary materials into lively objects shows a similar irreverent and experimental spirit.

  1. Alastair MacLeod, workshop drawing, January 2001. Gouache on newsprint. OCAD U Archives.
    Alastair MacLeod is a visual artist and OCAD U Director of Information Technology Services.
  2. John Kissick, workshop drawing, January 2001. Gouache and pencil on newsprint. OCAD U Archives.
    John Kissick was Dean of the university Faculty of Art from 2000 to 2003. He is now Director of the School of Fine Art and Music at the University of Guelph.
  3. Greg Woods, workshop drawing, January 2001. Gouache and pencil on newsprint. OCAD U Archives.
    Greg Woods was an architect at Robbie/Young + Wright and the lead project architect for the Sharp Centre for Design.
  4. Will Alsop, early tower model, January 2001. Perspex and plywood.
  5. Will Alsop, Really Almost There + Sex study, January 2001. Digital print.
  6. Lorraine Kwan, The Pencil Box, mixed media.
    Lorraine Kwan is an OCAD U alumna and mixed media artist in Vancouver.
  7. Rob Shostak, Sharp costume, 2004. Mixed media.
    Rob Shostack is an architect with Quadrangle Architects, Toronto.
  8. Sarah L. Mulholland, Squishy Sharp Centre, 2009. Knit object.
    Collection of Peter Caldwell.
    Sarah L. Mulholland is an OCAD U alumna and the university Social Media Officer.


The construction of the Sharp Centre for Design was very condensed in time and space. It was a feat of controlled chaos and technical innovation that took place over an 18-month period while classes were in session on a dense urban site. For first-hand observers, the building process and the bold animal-mechanical structure that took shape became a source of inspiration.

  1. ALL Design (Will Alsop), Sharp Centre for Design model, 2011. Metal.
  2. Terri Meyer Boake, Sharp Centre for Design construction time-lapse video, 2002 to 2004.
    Terri Boake is a Professor of the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo whose specialty is steel construction.
  3. Janie Reed, Look Up! triptych, 2003. Digital print.
  4. Janie Reed, Feet First, 2003. Digital print.
    Janie Reed is an OCAD U alumna and mixed media artist in Toronto.
  5. Gregory P. McRoberts, Lego Sharp Centre for Design, 2009. Lego.
    Greg McRoberts is an OCAD U alumnus and mixed media artist in Toronto.


The Sharp Centre for Design unique pixelated cladding was the outcome of an intense endgame between OCAD U and Will Alsop. The cladding was especially important to the building impact as it would be visible not only on the building exterior walls but also its underside. The architect advocated for a colorful patterned surface of lighted glass panels a decorative tablecloth for the tabletop that would camouflage the building large mass and enliven the streetscape both night and day. The university argued for a more economic and pragmatic choice, and, after Alsop threatened to paint the entire exterior black, a successful compromise was reached with syncopated black spots that added to the completed structure animated character.

  1. Will Alsop, Void of Opportunity study, 2001. Digital print.
  2. Edmond Rampen, OCAD Uke, 2013. Wood. Collection of Christine L. Bovis-Cnossen.
    Edmond Rampen is a professor of Fabrication Studies at OCAD U.
  3. Otino Corsano, Oeuvre, 2006. Enamel on Plexiglas.
  4. Otino Corsano, Big Crossword, 2006. Enamel on Plexiglas.
    Otino Corsano is an OCAD U alumnus and visual artist in Toronto.
  5. Pearlamina Cheung, Fly High, 2014. Silver ring, earrings, and pendant.
    Pearlamina Cheung is an OCAD U alumna, a jewelry designer and Assistant Art Director for the Director Guild of Canada in Toronto.
  6. Christopher Hutsul, OCAD University, 2004. Serigraph.
    OCAD U Collection.
    Christopher Hutsul is an OCAD U alumnus and an artist and filmmaker in Toronto.
Venue & Address: 
Anniversary Gallery, 100 McCaul St.
Janie Reed, Look Up! Triptych, 2003. Digital print, 10 x 32 in. (25.4 x 81.3 cm).
Embed Video: 

From Above

Extended Building Hours at 100 McCaul Street

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 5:00am

Beginning Monday, March 2, OCAD University will open 100 McCaul (including the Sharp Centre) 24 hours/7 days a week for a six-week period.

These extended 24/7 building hours end on Monday, April 13 at midnight. 

Please note the following:

  • Access is for current OCAD University students only (remember to bring your OCAD U ID) 
  • The 24/7 access will be interrupted on Saturday, March 28 as OCAD University participates in Earth Hour (details will be circulated).
  • Access is to areas that are normally open during extended hours and do not require supervision by staff or a technician. Please check the website for hours of specific Shops and Studios
  • Students can access desktop computers, scanners and black and white printing on Level 3 and Level 6 in 100 McCaul. 
  • Please note that desktops are erased nightly at 1:45 a.m. Desktops will not delete accounts while students are logged in, and as well, it will not delete the user who logged in 45 minutes prior to the wipe time of 1:45 a.m. IT Services recommends that students use Google Drive. More than 450 students are actively using Google Drive, and OCAD U Students receive unlimited storage from Google Drive.
  • Your safety is our priority. To this end, any student who appears to be too tired or distracted to use shop or studio equipment safely — either at night, or the next day -- will be instructed to leave
  • We will have Security circulating the building. Please report any safety concerns to the front desk.

Thanks to everyone for your cooperation in making the extended building hours possible. Questions can be directed Associate Vice-President, Students, Deanne Fisher.

10: Sharp Centre for Design Anniversary Exhibition

Photograph of the Sharp Centre under construction superimposed with a pair of upside-down feet wearing red shoes
Thursday, November 27, 2014 - 5:00am to Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 4:00am

Opening November 25, 7 p.m. in conjunction with the Will Alsop public lecture.

Closed November 26.

It’s been called “audacious and delightfully strange.” Ten years later, the Sharp Centre for Design continues to make a bold statement. This exhibition celebrates the Sharp Centre for Design’s first decade with works inspired by its bold and lively presence.

Image: Janie Reed, Feet First, 2003. Digital print, 7 x 9 in. (18 x 23 cm)

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University Anniversary Gallery, 2nd Floor 100 McCaul Street

Call for Submissions: Sharp Centre for Design 10th Anniversary Exhibition

Image of man wearing a Sharp Center costume on his back
Monday, July 14, 2014 - 4:00am to Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 4:00am

Did the Sharp Centre for Design inspire you?

Faculty, staff, and alumni are invited to participate in the Sharp Centre for Design 10th Anniversary Exhibition presented by OCAD University. This exhibition will celebrate the history of the Centre. As part of that history, we would like to showcase original objects inspired by the building. We are especially looking for 3D works, such as the Sharp Costume by architect Rob Shostak.

Help us to mark the occasion and salute how the Sharp Centre for Design has become an integral part of the community and a unique creative environment.

Your Application must include:
1. Cover page including: Name, Address, City, Postal/Zip Code, Country, Telephone, Email, Website, Project Title, and a brief description of the work.*
2. 2-3 images of your work following these guidelines: Digital images: - JPEG format - maximum of 1MB file size (each). File names must be in the following format: 01FirstnameLastname.jpg (Image number, Artists First and Last name).
3. Curriculum vitae and artist statement of no more than 4 pages.*
4. Any technical requirements for your work (i.e., services, equipment necessary for your project including maintenance, electrical specifications, installation)

*files must be submitted in either .doc, .docx, or .pdf format. Please do not submit more than is requested.

Application Deadline:
All applications must be received by midnight on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 to guest curator Janna Eggebeen at jeggebeen@faculty.ocadu.ca. The show is anticipated to run from November 26, 2014 until April 9, 2015 at the Anniversary Gallery adjacent to the Great Hall. Selected artists will be notified within two weeks of the application deadline.