Ottawa college student building wins two awards

The new Algonquin College student commons building won two Canadian design awards last week.


October 21, 2013

OTTAWA – The new Algonquin College student commons building, designed by IBI Group Architects in partnership with Teeple Architects, won two Canadian design awards last week.

The building, known as the Robert C. Gillett Student Commons Building, won an Award of Excellence in the Building category from the Canadian Design-Build Institute (CDBI) and an Urban Design Award of Merit in the Campus Infill category from the City of Ottawa.

The new 127,000 sq ft building is the heart of the Woodroffe Avenue campus for student gatherings, events, and celebrations. The $42-million building has a 700-seat auditorium, three levels of student services, a food court, a computer store, and a spacious atrium. The project included more than 15,000 sq ft of existing retail renovations and was built to LEED Gold specifications.

The City of Ottawa jury commented that “the student centre is a positive addition to the campus that signals intent to reclaim the central quad for pedestrians. The open, balconied configuration of the building’s central atrium felt appropriately democratic – pulling campus admin and activities out from behind closed office doors, to engage with the student population.”

Ernie Patton, the IBI Group director in charge of the project, noted that the delivery of public sector infrastructure through Private-Public Partnership (P3) arrangements like the student centre is becoming the preferred model by governments and public institutions. “The Algonquin College Student Centre demonstrates that it is not all about bottom line and transfer of risk,” he said. “The new centre meets or exceeds the College’s expectations – their program, budget, and schedule and has achieved, as evidenced by the recent awards, a very high standard of design.”

For more information, contact Ernie Patton.

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