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Alistair Grierson Portfolio

1. Future Heroes


2. Maggie’s

10 - 14

3. Nevada

15 - 20

4. Urban Alchemy

21 - 25

5. Professional Experience

26 - 27

FUTURE HEROES Master of Architecture Thesis, University of Toronto, 2015. Advisor: An Te Liu

A fiction based upon, i) two future ideologies—the Managerial and the Jest. Each ideology is created by individual agents. Managerial agents reject their freedom and assume values a priori, they strive to be objective and logical. The agents of Jest rejoice in the subjectivity of their freedom, they assert themselves and their values with no regard for others—they are adventurers! ii) representations of the physical manifestations arising from the competing ideologies iii) pairing archetypal agents with the artifacts of their creation iv) the subsequent categorization of creatoragents as heroes of action, reaction or non-action v) the question, who are the heroes of our future?



Film stills from Future Heroes [8:43].


The Managerial City.


The City of Jest.


Engines of Individuation: Managerial and Jest.


Images from the period preceding the Managerial and Jest.


Images from the period preceding the Managerial and Jest.


Image from the period preceding the Managerial and Jest.


Image from the period preceding the Managerial and Jest.


MAGGIE’S CENTRE University of Toronto, 2013. Instructor: Adrian Phiffer

This project is a Maggie’s Centre for Cancer Care in Toronto. The aim of the project was to create a special place in the heart of a busy urban environment; a home people would have not quite dared to build themselves. To develop this form collages were used as a generative technique. Different forms were tested on an exterior view from the street; interior options were collaged simultaneously below. From the central space all program radiates outward, the walls divide the served and servant spaces in each of the building’s wings. The pinwheel arrangement of the walls and exterior planting allow for small alcoves of semi-private exterior courts.

Collages, site response diagrams.


Idea, site plan, first floor plan.


Axonometric drawing.


Street view photomontage.


Interior views.


EAST BAYFRONT CONDOMINIUM: FLUIDITY, POROSITY, ELASTICITY University of Toronto, 2013. Instructor: Stefano Pujatti

A current trend in Toronto is a construction boom of glass condominium towers. These towers lack a sense of place - the condos in Toronto could look equally at home in Miami. The goal of this project was to develop a way of thinking that would result in buildings that contribute to creating a sense of place. In Toronto that means designing a building that can respond to the cold and changing of seasons. To develop the tools to design in this way, experiments were conducted to explore the terms fluidity, porosity and elasticity. Concrete was cast (fluidity) in forms made of various materials (porosity & elasticity). The resulting artifacts each had unique surface finishes, which when wet or viewed in raking light influenced the design in three ways. The first was a series of neighbourhood studies, the second was an idea to extend solariums from each unit to maximize sun exposure, and the final was a material study to accomodate water running down the facade.

Parti sketch, detail photos of experiment artifacts.


View from the water, experiment apparatus.


What makes a good neighbourhood? Kensignton market study.


Hybrid drawing.


5th floor plan.


Sketch model of solariums, section drawing.


Facade explorations: 1:1 concrete detail, collages of solariums in different seasons.


URBAN ALCHEMY University of Toronto, 2013. Instructor: Roberto Damiani

The subject of this studio was Dufferin Grove Park in Toronto. Two elements are being combined: a built form strategy, OMA’s Tropical City project for Penang, and the open space approach of Topotek’s Superkilen. The axioms of each project were extracted. From Tropical City, the idea of ‘islands’ were used to organize different typologies, while a hardscaped open space, taken from Superkilen, fills the interstitial space between the islands.

Figure ground plan, concept diagrams.


Ground floor plan.


Ground floor plan.


Typology and program distribution.


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE Brook McIlroy Inc. Toronto & Thunder Bay, Canada. 2010-2014. (two years cumulative)

I have been part of Brook McIlroy’s design team for a total of two years. Beginning as a co-op student from Dalhousie University in 2010, I returned to work at Brook McIlroy’s Toronto and Thunder Bay offices for various intervals during my academic career. I had a variety of responsiblities ranging from creating visualizations and support documents for urban design guidelines, compiling proposals, and contributing to architecture projects in all stages of the design process. The project teams in which I have been a key member include: the Spirit Garden at Prince Arthur’s Landing, Iron Ore Dock visualizations, Transit Shelters for the City of Thunder Bay, Iroquoian Longhouse at Crawford Lake and the VUE condominium development in Thunder Bay.


PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE ElasticoSPA. Turin, Italy. 2015. (summer)

For the summer of 2015 I worked at ElasticoSPA in Turin, Italy. The task was to build a 1:20 scale model of a house that will have a unique structure consisting of 18 large granite slabs. The solid stone slabs are notched and stacked constituting the main structure of the house. The granite slabs in the model are made of cast concrete, the remaining infill walls and roof are modeled wih card. The finished model was recently displayed at an exhibition at the Italian Cultural Centre in Toronto.


Alistair Grierson Portfolio  
Alistair Grierson Portfolio  

Master's of Architecture graduate portfolio