Diamond Schmitt designs new campus for York University

York University’s Markham Centre Campus (MCC) will be the first public university in York Region. When it opens in 2023, it will feature a vertical campus building designed by Diamond Schmitt that is fully integrated with the area’s network of commerce, athletics, arts, and entrepreneurial communities.

Image credit: Diamond Schmitt Architects

The $275.5 million building form will consist of a five-storey podium with five-storey tower above. Bronze-anodized aluminum cladding and fritted bird-friendly glazing will be interspersed within a syncopated fenestration pattern. Cantilevers and curves animate the building form and create fluid, interactive spaces supporting teaching and research within a vertical campus.

“The design of this highly accessible building defines a collegial academic community within a series of interconnected, multi-storey spaces of gathering and interaction,” said Donald Schmitt, principal of Diamond Schmitt.

Image credit: Diamond Schmitt Architects

“The Markham Centre Campus will offer professionally relevant degree programs and micro-credentials with a strong focus on digital technologies, entrepreneurship and experiential education in high demand areas such as business and entrepreneurship, data analytics, new media and communications,” said York University President and Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton.

The 400,000 sf (37,160 sm) facility will open onto a sloping Campus Green that creates an outdoor focal point for social gathering, Indigenous learning and respite. Low-incline curved pathways will connect with a nearby civic athletic centre, transit hub, cinemas and commercial district. 

Image credit: Diamond Schmitt Architects

The initial phase of this compact, connected, vertically integrated campus will accommodate up to 4,200 students with the flexibility to respond to future growth demands. Bright and naturally lit circulation binds the stacked campus together with large and small common areas to support student interaction throughout the building.

The new campus will be a community of changemakers, fulfilling future labour market demands and civic leadership by giving future students the skills required for economic competitiveness and community development in Markham, York Region and across Ontario.                                                   

Construction by Stuart Olson Inc., begins this summer, with opening slated for the 2023 academic year.