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Cheryl Atkinson

Cheryl Atkinson
Associate Professor
Associate Chair, Mobility and Internationalisation
416-979-5000 ext. 556480

Areas of Specialization

Architectural Design

Professional Practice

Design for Urban Open Space

Materiality & Tectonics

Low Carbon Housing

Design for Wellness

Glass in Architecture

Energy-efficient Design in Housing


Year University Degree
1984 University of Waterloo BArch
1982 University of Waterloo BES

Selected Courses

Course Code Course Title
ASC 401 Design Studio IV
ASC 857 Glass in Architecture
ASC 720 4th Year Options Studio
ASC 520 Integration Studio I


When considering a building, many of us think about how it looks, how cool or warm it keeps us, and how the walls insulate us from noise. But do we think about how the buildings we inhabit affect us emotionally or psychologically?

Cheryl Atkinson encourages her students to figure out why through phenomenology: the study of how a building’s composition, proportion, materials and colours come together and make us feel and think. The impact can be major. Because of its psychological effect, for example, access to daylight and a view have been proven to help reduce the mental stress of hospital patients, while colour, material texture and the  arrangement of space can delight, comfort or exhilarate us.

Through the incorporation of “freespace”—well-designed places both inside and outside of our buildings to lounge and interact—Atkinson points out that social connections can also be forged through architecture, and she encourages her students to include this type of design in every project. “After all,” she says, “it’s the creation of a relationship between buildings and society that makes architecture such a powerful force for good.”

Cheryl Atkinson

“Every building should contribute to the feeling of community.”

Selected Works

  • 2016: Fellow of RAIC
  • 2013: Toronto Urban Design Award of Merit, Linea Bayview Town Homes, Project Designer and Project Architect with Teeple Architects Inc. (2007-2008)
  • 2010: Prairie Design Award of Excellence, Montrose Cultural Centre, Grand Prairie Alberta (Project Architect, Design Team Member, Associate in Charge 2006-2008) with Teeple Architects Inc
  • 2009: OAA Award of Excellence for the Langara College Library and Classroom Building and Master Plan, Vancouver, Project Architect, Associate in Charge  with Teeple Architects Inc.
  1. Atkinson, C., “Healthy Outcomes, A Major Pre- and Post-Occupancy Study of a New Toronto Hospital Provides Evidence for Design’s Impact on Qualitative Aspects of Wellness.”  Canadian Architect. (October 2016): 40-43
  2. Atkinson, C., “A Thick Green Line: Extracting a New Public Realm within Existing Hyper Density,” Spaces & Flows and International Journal of Urban and Extraurban Studies (publication as of Aug, 2015)
  3. Atkinson, C. Architectural Comparative Analysis Report for the POE of Bridgepoint Active Healthcare (June 2014): 1-109 submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, Toronto ON.
  4. Atkinson, C., “Architectural metrics - developing design analysis tools for post- occupancy evaluations” World Health Design, Design and Scientific Review. (October 2013): 60-69
  5. Atkinson, C.“Readymade,” 2012, in ACSA 101 New Constellations New Ecologies Proceedings of the 101st Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA)
  • EcoStudio
  • Member of Metrolinx Design Review Panel, GTA
  • OAA SBEC (Sustainable Built Environment) Committee
  • OAA Mentor and member of OAA Mentorship Committee