New Longueuil Campus–University of Sherbrooke

ARCHITECT MAROSI + TROY, JODOIN LAMARRE PRATTE, LABBE: ARCHITECTS IN JOINT VENTURE

LOCATION LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC

The project calls for the design of a new satellite campus for the University of Sherbrooke–a two-phase project totalling 52,000 square metres of multidisciplinary space, commencing with the construction of a 40,000-square-metre plinth and tower over three levels of underground parking. Also included is the design of a major new civic atrium which extends and connects the university to the adjacent AMT bus terminal and the existing Longueuil metro station. The Phase II component, a 12,000-square-metre horizontal slab, will be accommodated on the south side of the plinth, completing the ensemble. The site is strategically located at the heart of the new downtown of Longueuil and has as its centrepiece the development of a new university precinct–the Cit du Savoir.

The solution proposes a highly visible, open and audacious urban vertical campus featuring a landmark tower atop a two-storey plinth covering the entire site. Symbolically, it announces the presence of the university as a leading partner in the Cit du Savoir development and reflects its own open and innovative approach to education and research.

The program for the satellite campus represents a veritable cross-section of the main University of Sherbrooke campus, albeit in microcosm–as a concentrated and vertically stacked urban structure. Included are: classrooms, offices, labs and workrooms for the faculties of Business Administration, Law, Computer Science, Education, Engineering, Music, and Medicine, as well as administrative and orientation services.

A key challenge requiring an innovative design approach was to develop a solution to overcome and mitigate the isolating effect of stacking program vertically in a tower in order to enhance, encourage and sustain the type of lively interactions and communication normally found in a university campus. The solution involved the seeding of the tower with a complement of public and common spaces which act as “social condensers,” creating physical and visual connections between floor levels, thereby encouraging contact and a sense of community within the campus.

The three most important of these interactive spaces are: 1) the vertical campus promenade, 2) the oasis garden and 3) the sky garden lounges. The vertical campus promenade forms a dynamic sequence of stairs and platforms connecting the ground-level entry hall with the main classrooms and labs in the plinth and in the lower floors of the tower. Meeting rooms, breakout spaces and lounges occupy the platforms. At the midway point of this vertical trajectory on level 3, one has direct access to and from the exterior oasis. This garden court is the symbolic, sublime focus of the towers (Phases I + II) and is inspired by the agora on the main Sherbrooke campus with its seating areas and water features. Indigenous plants and tree species native to Sherbrooke are proposed in the landscaping arrangement. A series of interactive two-storey sky garden lounges offering profuse daylight and views are distributed vertically throughout the tower, providing crucial interdepartmental connections between the stacked floor plates. Meeting and common rooms are also clustered about these spaces extending the theme already established on the lower six levels.

A limited palette of materials has been developed for the project, including a subtle and sophisticated glass curtain wall which uses a combination of transparent, translucent and opaque glazing to capitalize on the dramatic changing qualities of light reflection during the day while projecting a glowing light to create a night-time beacon for the campus. The use of the university’s signature green in coloured glass accents identifies the significant common spaces of the project and ensures recognition of the university’s new campus.

Daoust: An interesting resolution of the vertical campus that superimposes the university and its public realm over a street-oriented base. There is a recognition of the importance of the public realm in a university through the creation of the vertical campus promenade and the oasis garden, both interconnected to create a strong sense of space. An intelligent use of the building’s glass skin creates a beacon in the Cit du Savoir.

Kearns: The 16-storey landmark, university tower and plinth will stand as a beacon for the new Cit du Savoir master plan. The design was extremely well communicated in the submission and clearly addressed the challenges inherent in a vertical organization of university programs. The success of this project is in the great attention the architect has given to connectivity between program elements and to mitigating the vertical stacking by connecting with the civic atrium and roof garden, as well as in integrating dynamic, interactive social spaces throughout the building’s cross-section.

Ostry: This project successfully challenges the horizontal campus and effectively integrates the elements into a compact and dense urban form. The vertical paradigm reinforces many features of the campus. The project recognizes the critical importance of social interaction and connectivity between students and faculty, and dynamically interconnects a variety of public and common spaces through the atria and gardens. This is a very tight project that integrates teaching and public space without compromise to either. Perhaps most importantly, the project is an excellent precedent for future urban growth and development.

CLIENT UNIVERSITY OF SHERBROOKE AND CITY OF LONGUEUIL

ARCHITECT TEAM MARTIN TROY, ERIK MAROSI, DOMINIQUE LAROCHE, CARLO RONDINA, MAXIME GAGNE, KATSU YAMAZAKI, JULIE CHARBONNEAU, ANDREA MERRETT, MICHELLE CHAN, MATHIEU LAROUCHE, MARC LAURENDEAU, LOUIS BELLEFLEUR, SYLVAIN BILODEAU, GERMAIN PARADIS, GUYLAINE BEAUDOIN, DANIEL CHABOT, GERARD LANTHIER, OLIVIER MILLIEN, RICHARD BEAUDOIN, CHARLES-ANDRE GAGNON, ERIC LABBE, KIM LACROIX, ANDRE GAGNON, ALEXANDRE PEREDA

STRUCTURAL S.M. CONSULTANTS INC.

MECHANICAL/ELECTRICAL DESSAU INC.

LANDSCAPE SCHME (PHILIPPE LUPIEN, PHILIPPE NOLET, ALAIN LOOF)

PROJECT MANAGEMENT CIMA+

CODE TECHNORM

GLASS ENGINEERING VERRE STRUCTUREL CPA

ACOUSTICS JEAN-PIERRE LEGAULT

VERTICAL TRANSPORTATION EXIM

GROUND FLOOR AREA PHASE I 40,000 M2; PHASE II 12,000 M2

BUDGET $115 M

COMPLETION FALL 2009

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