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“A facility that encourages students and teachers to move beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries”
This winning design embraces the opportunity to co-locate health sciences and neuroscience students in spaces that accommodate practical and theoretical learning so as to encourage students and teachers to move beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries and foster the cross-pollination of ideas.
Students and faculty gain access to the building’s most public functions on the ground floor including a 350-seat lecture theatre and casual student spaces that double as informal study areas. Upper floors are designed to accommodate more program-specific requirements for teaching and research. The design locates the mechanical and electrical services in a multi-level bay vertically stacked along the west face of the building so as to service program spaces through horizontal distribution. This allows laboratories to be free of vertical service chases with lab support spaces positioned closest the utilities bay, open lab benches occupying the middle of the floor plate and offices and collaborative areas lining the perimeter. This unique configuration - derived in large part from a desire to optimize the location between engineering systems and program spaces - maximizes floor flexibility, adaptably, and visual transparency and works effectively to stimulate a more holistic, collaborative and collective approach to learning.
As a whole, the building massing reflects the orthogonal geometry that dominates West Campus while its compact footprint responds to context and site in a number of unique ways. A large porch, glazed link and series of pathways work to weave the building into the larger campus fabric and ultimately promote Carleton’s mandate to maintain a pedestrian-centric environment and establish building interdependence.
The project is in collaboration with NXL Architects.
Completion Date: 2015
Project Type: Education
Building Size: 120,000 sq. ft.