The Ross Building was situated in the center of the campus and functioned as an entrance to the campus and its Central Square. The building is connected to the Scott Library located on its west side by an open, elevated terrace for pedestrians. It has a grid patterned concrete exterior that includes some metal and glass detailing. Nine stories high, the building is visible from many part of the campus.
The building contains a variety of spaces including classrooms, study areas, offices, and lecture halls. The UPACE group intended the building to serve many uses that could evolve over time. A large concrete ramp used to lead to the east side entrance of the building. The ramp was removed in 1988 and in its place is Vari Hall, designed in 1992 by Moriyama & Teshima in a postmodernist style. The east side of Ross Building faces Harry Arthurs Commons, a bus transit loop, and since 2017, the York University subway station. The Ross Building is one of the most well known examples of Brutalist architecture at York University.