December 15, 2017
by Canadian Architect
Lazaridis Hall at Wilfrid Laurier University has been recognized with a Civic Trust Award. The building is designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects in association with David Thompson Architects.
The longest-running built environment awards program in Europe highlights projects that demonstrate excellence in architecture, sustainability and universal design and that make a positive social, cultural, environmental or economic benefit to the local community. Lazaridis Hall is the only Canadian building and one of only two in North America to receive a 2018 award from the UK-based program. Award winners will be honoured at a ceremony in March in Manchester, England.
“Lazaridis Hall is designed for academic collaboration and connection with the community,” said Donald Schmitt, Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects. “This building presents a welcoming academic crossroads defined by transparency and connectivity and is centered around a large skylit atrium.”
The facility is home to the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics as well as Department of Mathematics and associated programs in entrepreneurship. In addition to academic program delivery, the building accommodates spacious gathering and peer learning areas, 240 faculty and administration offices, and a multi-purpose auditorium that supports a seasonal conference agenda.
“We are very honoured that Lazaridis Hall has received this award,” said Mark Dettweiler, Laurier director of planning, design and construction. “One of the project goals from the onset was to create an iconic building that would benefit not only the Laurier, but also the broader community of Waterloo Region.”
“Lazaridis Hall represents a new heart of campus life and is designed with simple, strong forms that articulate a distinct presence both on the interior and exterior,” said Birgit Siber, Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects and project architect. “The university has shown great leadership by supporting sustainability initiatives including ambitious energy use reduction to meet the 2030 Challenge.”
The building has previously won an Interior Wood Design Award, a Canadian Consulting Engineering Award and an award of excellence from the Ontario Glass and Metal Association. This is the third Civic Trust Award for Diamond Schmitt Architects. In 2016, Bridgepoint Active Healthcare in Toronto won for connecting a campus of care with its community and in 2015, Daniels Spectrum was recognized for its performance, rehearsal, learning and social enterprise space for local arts and cultural groups in Regent Park, Toronto.