October 8, 2009
by Canadian Architect
KMBR Architects Planners Inc. has been selected to design a third major project for the College of the Rockies in Cranbrook, BC, led by partner in charge Gregg Brown, MAIBC, FRAIC, REFP, LEED AP, with Pam Doherty IA.AIBC, as the design team leader.
The $12.7-million project is a major expansion of the south entrance of the college’s main building – the Kootenay Centre – and is funded by the federal-provincial Knowledge Infrastructure Program that is investing in postsecondary institutions across BC.
This expansion will have a significant impact on the local community, creating over 80 direct jobs and helping the College build upon its role as a cultural and economic pillar in the region. The extensive use of wood responds to the community context, local resources and the close cultural ties between the College and the Ktunaxa First Nations.
The College will see a transformation of the Kootenay Centre’s lower level to add faculty offices and seven classrooms featuring state of the art technology, while the upper level will become an iconic port of entry, reinforcing the College’s identity as a high-calibre, degree-granting institution.
The design is centered around a foyer with an interior of grand proportions; although suitable for large gatherings, on a day-to-day basis it will be a warm, welcoming and “wired” lounge and study space, as well as a central organizing point and social hub for students and visitors.
A south-facing façade and expansive clerestory glazing will allow light penetration deep into the building and reveal the expressive structure that unifies the existing and new buildings. While the roof will evoke the strong lines of the mountain backdrop, the whole composition signifies the potential and aspirations of the College as they move into the future.
Finally, the grand foyer will flow into a “Main Street” connecting the existing atrium, which will be renovated to become a streamlined “one stop shop” for student services that supports a vibrant collegiate culture.
In order to meet the project’s fast-tracked schedule, KMBR has implemented its Holistic Project Delivery™ method (described in CA, June 2009). Both phases of the project are scheduled for completion in March 2011.