Chemical Sciences Building, Trent University

ARCHITECT TEEPLE ARCHITECTS INC. AND ASSOCIATE ARCHITECTS SHORE TILBE IRWIN & PARTNERS

LOCATION PETERBOROUGH, ONTARIO

The science centre is conceived as a promenade, both architectural and natural, that brings one into repeated contact with the Otonabee River, the central focus of Ron Thom’s Trent University campus. It is directly linked to the ground floor of the existing science precinct and to its +15 circulation system. The promenade weaves between these two levels, presenting views of Trent’s unique river landscape to students as they move through the campus and the building. The river is the constant reference point, ever present in one’s experience of the place.

The building is tucked into the landscape to allow the views to and from the Otonabee River to remain intact. The new Chemical Sciences Building at Trent University is intended to be both a respectful and innovative addition to Ron Thom’s master plan. By following the eroding contours of the landscape, the structure highlights its exceptional natural beauty. Instead of simply placing the building on the site, the building becomes part of the landscape itself, embodying a reverence for the topography that characterizes the work of Ron Thom. The single-storey building allows the land to literally extend over the roof of the building, blending natural and built form.

The project is organized to form a sequence of new courtyards on the campus: a rock court is cut into the hill, another court extends over the river, and an internal court is formed between the CSB and the existing Environmental Studies Building.

A highly regularized and flexible system of teaching labs can be combined, as required, into various research projects. The ordered nature of the spaces stands in contrast to the sculpted complexity of the public space as it reaches outward to the river. The centre includes a 3,000-square-foot water quality lab (where conditions of the Otonabee itself are tested), teaching labs, a computational lab, and high-level research labs. These are brought together in a shared social space, overlooking both courts. The laboratories accommodate the methodical pursuits of the researchers while evoking the complex realm of intricate and unforeseen speculation.

The project employs low-flow variable air volume fume hoods to minimize heat loss in the building. Heat is recovered from the fume hood exhaust system to achieve an exceptional level of energy efficiency. Green roofs and natural cleansing of all storm water complement its environmental approach. Anne Cormier: This is a successful exploration of walk-on and folded roof architecture, a new form of “landscape architecture” inside and out that is a contemporary interpretation of Ron Thom’s campus. Interior and exterior gardens and paths continue trajectories launched by the existing bridge, while the heaviness of the masonry gives way to a lighter steel structure, creating a tension between the weight of the ground and the heaviness of the roof.CA

CLIENT TRENT UNIVERSITY

ARCHITECT TEAM TEEPLE ARCHITECTS INC: STEPHEN TEEPLE, CHRIS RADIGAN, MATTHEW SMITH, MYLES CRAIG, MARK BAECHLER, DEAN LAVIGNE, ANYA MORYOUSSEF, LUC BOULIANE. SHORE TILBE IRWIN & PARTNERS: STEPHEN IRWIN, STEPHEN PLOEGER, JAN WILLEM GRITTERS, TERRY LEVENTOS, BOB ASHBY.

STRUCTURAL YOLLES PARTNERSHIP INC.

MECHANICAL SMITH & ANDERSON

ELECTRICAL CROSSEY ENGINEERING

LANDSCAPE MBT

CONTRACTOR VANBOTS

AREA 38,736 FT2

BUDGET $17.5 M

COMPLETION 2004

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