Algonquin College and Students’ Association unveil innovative green building design for $52-million Student Commons

Algonquin College and the Algonquin Students’ Association (SA) have unveiled the winning proposal and design for the new $52-million 110,000-square-foot Student Commons on the Ottawa campus, awarding the design-build project to the PCL Constructors and IBI Group Architects/Teeple Architects.

Anchored by a 700-seat auditorium for lectures and performances, the Student Commons will create a sense of place between the classroom and home, and will provide a grand atrium lounge area for students to relax in comfortable furniture and enjoy a coffee with friends. The facility will provide a variety of choices for students to access student support services, attend lectures and performances in the 700-seat auditorium, use club and activity space, study quietly or in groups, or take advantage of a variety of purposeful green spaces nearby.

The design-build team followed a number of guiding principles set out by the College and SA to direct the development of this leading-edge facility that will create a true sense of place never before seen on campus.

The Student Commons will be built to the exacting standards of the Canada Green Building Council’s LEED Gold certification. The multi-storey design of this new facility will capitalize on natural lighting and “greening” of the adjacent landscape to “bring the outdoors in.”

The building will be built adjacent to the existing home of the College’s Hospitality and Tourism programs, and serve as a gateway for visitors arriving via the eastern approach to the campus, including the College’s principal parking areas. An official groundbreaking ceremony is set for April 2011 and construction will begin soon after. The building will open in September 2012.

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