Gow Hastings Architects and Bélanger Salach Architecture - Laurentian University Student Centre, a comfortable place to both be productive and to socialize
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Laurentian University Student Centre, a comfortable place to both be productive and to socialize

Gow Hastings Architects and Bélanger Salach Architecture

Education  /  Completed
Gow Hastings Architects and Bélanger Salach Architecture

Laurentian University is Canada’s only bilingual and tri-cultural (English, French and Indigenous) postsecondary institution, offering students a culturally rich educational experience in an intimate setting. Located on a picturesque 765-acre campus minutes from the Northern Ontario town of Sudbury, a major urban centre with an important mining history, the university is surrounded by five lakes and the vast boreal forest. The university represents an important knowledge centre in the region, and is uniquely focused on the study and research of the North. In alignment with the University’s Campus Masterplan to modernise and build new student-focused spaces and facilities, the new Student Centre is the university’s first standalone building completed in its 57-year history. Dedicated to, funded by and operated by students, the centre provides a mix of social, learning and support spaces that enhance student life and gives the Student General Association (SGA) greater visibility. The design team was asked to create a space that responded to student needs while also complementing the campus’ unique topography and Northern identity. Following a series of student consultations, the design team recognized that students needed a comfortable place to both be productive and to socialize. As a result, the new building offers spaces for community and connection while cultivating a relationship with the majestic northern landscape. The Student Centre functions as a vital juncture along the campus’ spine, linking the university’s east and west campuses and giving students a centralised gathering place. Its brow-like shape is inspired by Greater Sudbury’s changing landscape, its industrial heritage and its new spirit as a “brutally beautiful city.” Built on two floors on a topographically-challenging site, the student centre appears to emerge from the bedrock, reflecting the lakes and forests that frame its views. This unique and memorable presence provides the SGA with a strong new identity rooted in nature. On the interior, a two-storey atrium lounge serves to build kinship amongst friends and classmates and cultivate pride-of-place. The multi-purpose space encourages students and visitors to meet and socialize; lounge and rest between classes; grab a quick bite to eat; or study quietly alone or in groups. Open sightlines foster community while a central fireplace ensures a comfortable home away from home. In response to its Northern context, the building is designed to withstand the harsh winters of Sudbury. Natural wood is visible throughout, running the length of the ceiling and the underside of the large exterior canopy, providing a warm reminder of the forest. The exterior cladding is comprised of steel panels, a nod to nearby industry and a robust shield against snow and wind. A high-performance building envelope, natural ventilation, and solar shading all work to reduce the building’s environmental impact. Inside, expansive floor-to-ceiling glazing provides abundant daylight and enables students to enjoy nature from inside. A direct bridge link to the West Residence also enables residents to walk between buildings without having to venture into the cold.

Credits

 Sudbury
 Laurentian University
 10/2019
 1394
 7000000
 Gow Hastings Architects and Bélanger Salach Architecture
 Gow Hastings Architecture: Philip Hastings, Valerie Gow, Jim Burkitt, Allan Banina, Nancy Chao, Chi Nguyen, Camille Esquivel, Francesco Abenante, Katie Krolak; Bélanger Salach Architecture: Amber Salach, Laura Teddy, Robert Andre, Maurizio Presot
 Capital Construction
 Mechanical and Electrical: SNC-Lavalin, Structural: AS2 Associates, Civil: PEL, Landscape: PMA, Sustainability: RWDI, Accessibility: DesignABLE, Cost: Marshall & Murray, Audio-Visual: Novita Techne, Acoustics: Valcoustics
 Lighting: Sistemalux, Millwork: Formica, Porcelain Tile: Belvedere, Ceramic Tile: Stonetile, Ceiling Tile: Armstrong, Sheet Flooring: Mondo, Carpet Tile: Milliken, Wood Finish: Sansin
 Tom Arban Photography

Curriculum

Gow Hastings Architects creates vibrant places for learning and discovery. Since 2002, our Toronto-based studio has developed a solid reputation for the design of post-secondary, commercial, and public buildings. We unite comprehensive architecture and interior design services with an agile, flexible and creative approach to realise affordable and time-conscious solutions. We unite comprehensive architecture and interior design services with an agile, flexible and creative approach to realise affordable and time-conscious solutions.

Bélanger Salach Architecture is a full-service architectural firm based in Sudbury, Ontario. Established in 1964, this firm has shaped the landscape throughout Northern Ontario. Having designed many of Northern Ontario’s most prominent landmarks, Bélanger Salach Architecture has also influenced the built environment across Ontario and internationally with award-winning and innovative designs in the education, health care, recreation and tourism sectors.

https://www.gowhastings.com

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