2002 Governor General’s Medals for Architecture: Student Centre, Centennial College, Toronto, Ontario

Kongats Architects

The Student Centre, a hub of activity for Centennial College’s Progress Avenue campus, is located between the Trans-Canada Highway to the north and existing College buildings to the south. A folded plane of zinc shelters the building from winds sweeping off the highway and offers a shimmering surface for the play of headlights from passing cars. A brise-soleil on the south tempers the environment of the main events hall inside.

Materials and organization of the high-traffic building were chosen to reflect multi-purpose functionality, openness, privacy, and noisy and/or quiet activity. The small second floor accommodates quieter uses and houses the Student Association offices. Meeting and club rooms surround a central courtyard which provides natural light and ventilation. Zinc, tectum, polycarbonate panels, patterned sandblasted glass, light grey brick, coloured cast-in-place concrete walls, floors and counters and mix-and-match architect-designed furniture provide an animated backdrop to the buzz of activity.