Emergency exit buildings are required for public safety from underground facilities, in this case a new mass transit line. Although they are highly visible along city streets in many neighbourhoods, they are typically no more than utilitarian concrete boxes. By contrast, the design of this series of emergency exit buildings makes a strong positive contribution to the city. Each building successfully integrates life safety requirements within a strategy that also addresses issues of human scale, context, and beauty.

In this original version of their design, the exteriors are composed of coloured multi-layered glass that displays subtle artistic depth to passersby. The glass is designed to be strong enough to withstand a hammer blow. Each one is uniquely designed to reflect its context, in this case the vertical golden grasses.

This work was completed by Paul Raff as a design team member under IBI.


Greater Toronto Area, Canada


IBI Group Architects