Gow Hastings Architects
Niagara College Welland Student Commons
All project descriptions are provided by SBID Awards entrants.
The new Niagara College Welland Student Commons establishes a welcoming heart within the sprawling, decentralised campus, establishing a flexible gathering place where students can study, collaborate, eat and socialise.
In addition to enhancing student amenities, the project upgrades the 1970s era campus with a new north-facing entrance, enhancing both wayfinding and branding with a bold graphic treatment, and opening up the building to natural light and external views. At the apex of a complex of dark, narrow corridors from previous renovations and additions, the project involved demolishing some tight spaces, improving wayfinding, and introducing natural light to the dated campus.
The new 35,000 sf double-height space includes a welcome centre, cafeteria, retail space, activity room, and open spaces for learning and study with hotel-style amenities such as super-scaled LED monitors and a gas fireplace. Carefully sited near transit and student services, the addition also provides the college with an alternative entrance.
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