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Trent University Student Centre

13 Mar 2020
Image Credit: Andrew Latreille
Architectural Credit: Teeple Architects Inc.

Location: Peterborough, Ont.
Architect: Teeple Architects Inc.
OAA Design Excellence Awards Finalist

The Trent University Student Centre was designed with two important goals—strengthen the relationship between students and the scenic Otonabee River, and connect students to one another. The project incorporates both student centre and teaching and learning facilities, ensuring the building is animated with a diversity of uses at all times. Organized around a three-storey forum/interior quad opening to the river, the Student Centre showcases 21st century learning spaces while respecting the campus’s architectural legacy.
Featuring a solid ground-level facade on the west, the building opens to panoramic views south to the river and surrounding landscape from the upper storeys. The building is organized around the Forum, rising through the full three-storey height of the structure, boasting views of the building’s activities. With a desire to complement the original campus design, the project is clad with a unique photo-etched precast concrete. The precast panels’ exterior finish was created from an image of the distinctive rough aggregate concrete used on the Bata Library and original campus, enhanced by dynamic folds in the panel forms.
The site is framed by the campus entry road to the west, the existing library to the north, the Otonabee River and pedestrian “Founders Walk” to the east, and a mature woodlot to the south, with the University’s existing Athletic Centre beyond. The main entrance of the building addresses the principal bus stop at the campus gateway, through which thousands of students arrive each week. Another entrance connects the pedestrian path along the campus entry road. These circulation paths form an ‘X,’ where a new indoor student “Forum” connects directly to the riverside—connecting previously isolated campus elements.
A pragmatic sustainable strategy underpins the design of the building, centred on passive approaches. The building’s carefully considered orientation and solid-to-void relationships take advantage of heat gain in winter from the south and east, but deep canopies ensure key areas are shaded from summer sun. Natural ventilation is provided through the Centre’s large three-storey forum. The curtain wall glazing achieves high-performance through use of low-e tinted and fritted glazing units that are filled with argon. Other measures include energy reclamation on air-handling units, LED lighting, and low-flow plumbing fixtures.

Image Credit: Andrew Latreille

Image Credit: Andrew Latreille

Image Credit: Andrew Latreille

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