January 20, 2017
by Canadian Architect
David Robinson, MP Marc Serré, Blaine Nicholls, Dr. Terrance Galvin, Cheryl McEwen, Rob McEwen, Minister Matthews, Mayor Bigger, MPP Glenn Thibeault, MP Paul Lefebvre, Jennifer Witty, Dominic Giroux, MPP France Gélinas, Pierre Zundel.
Laurentian University has celebrated the official opening of the final capital phase of the McEwen School of Architecture, completing a $45 million, 72,000 square foot facility located in Sudbury’s downtown core.
“The McEwen School of Architecture has been ten years in the making and has been made possible through many partnerships and collaborations,” said Dominic Giroux, President and Vice Chancellor of Laurentian University. “It’s an uplifting example of transformative change, achieved through community alignment and a shared vision.”
Planning for the School of Architecture began in 2007, when members of the Greater Sudbury community and Laurentian University representatives recognized the economic benefits and the opportunity to leverage regional expertise in creating a unique educational opportunity.
In 2011, after a lengthy vetting process that began with more than 30 submissions, the University Board approved the choice of LGA Architectural Partners for the design of the project. “[LGA’s] vision and knowledge really impressed the selection committee, along with their portfolio,” said Laurentian School of Architecture community steering committee chair, Blaine Nicholls. He said the submission from LGA Architectural Partners also showed that the design team “fully grasped the way we wanted to represent our northern environment while helping to create a truly public building that will be a landmark in the city.”
Dr. Terrance Galvin, Founding Director, joined the team in January 2012 and has been a visionary for this unique program that embraces the resiliency of northern people and the unique beauty of the northern Ontario landscape. “The past five years were about taking the vision and making it operational. This includes the design and construction of the new buildings, the implementation of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies program, and the approval of the Master of Architecture program,” said Dr. Galvin. “The next ten years will see a greater focus on expanding research opportunities.”
The McEwen School of Architecture welcomed its charter class in September 2013. In only three years, students have already distinguished themselves and the School through numerous national and international awards, including a first place win at the Bergen International Wood Festival in Norway in May 2016. This cohort will graduate in June. The School will launch its Master of Architecture graduate program in September.
“This is an incredible milestone not only for Laurentian but for the City of Greater Sudbury, the Province and indeed for Canada,” said Jennifer Witty, Chair of the Laurentian University Board of Governors. “Laurentian’s McEwen School of Architecture is the first new school of architecture to open in Canada in 45 years. It is the first school of its kind in Northern Ontario and the first in Canada outside Québec to offer courses in French.”
The School was made possible through forward-thinking investments by the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, the City of Greater Sudbury, Rob and Cheryl McEwen, the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation, FedNor, the Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy, Blaine and Lise Nicholls, F. Jean MacLeod Trust, Susan and Perry Dellelce and many other private donors.