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City Smarts

NorQuest College expands its city centre campus with a new learning centre.

Edmonton, Alberta

Volume, views, and vertical circulation

The design aims to break down barriers and connect students; the stimulus for community building within the campus and with the neighbourhood. The plan of the learning centre ties directly into the compelling double corridor organization of Building A, gaining the benefits of spatial and circulation efficiency. The building section, however, is much different, weaving volumes, views and vertical circulation together to create transparency of activity.

Upward mobility

The concept of a highly interconnected vertical campus informs all aspects of the design, from program adjacencies to the building systems.

Interconnectedness sustains a high level of green design

All classrooms are naturally ventilated with operable windows connected to the building management system for pre-cooling of the building’s internally exposed concrete mass by nighttime flushing. During the daytime, natural draft is facilitated through the interconnected lounges driven by a rooftop solar chimney. As part of the project, the head-end systems of Building A were redesigned to free up heating, cooling, and emergency power capacity to serve the new Learning Centre with a resulting net energy and cost savings. Additional green features include water harvesting, low volume fixtures, a high-performance building envelope, low environmental impact products and materials, and key program adjacencies such as locating heat generating computer labs away from the building exterior to reduce cooling loads.

Course material

The materials of the Learning Centre continue the theme of reinterpretation and openness. Concrete is used in pre-cast form to reference Building A, but also in its exposed cast-in-place form to reinforce the openness of the new building and expose its thermal flywheel. Glazing is used in full curtain walls rather than the strip windows of Building A to further the sense of transparency. Metal panel is used on the building core to visually accent the circulation spine tying the two building masses together.

Project facts

Size: 22,500 sq. m.
Estimated Completion : September 2017
Collaborators : ISL
Cost : $192.3 Million
Client: NorQuest College
LEED: Targeting LEED Silver