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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Mohawk College Learning Exchange in Ontario, Canada by Zeidler Partnership Architects

 
May 25th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Zeidler Partnership Architects

Mohawk College’s Fennell Campus developed organically over 30 years with multiple buildings incorporated in a functional manner, resulting in a complex plan without clear organization. When the firm was awarded the project, the College’s direction was to provide a Learning Commons / Library, and introduce a central organization to the campus. The result is a design, which provides a strong north-south link, from the new Fennell street entrance through the existing campus to the current main entrance at the south parking areas.

Image Courtesy Tom Arban

  • Architects: Zeidler Partnership Architects
  • Project: Mohawk College Learning Exchange
  • Location: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • Partner-in-Charge: Vaidila Banelis
  • Project Manager: David Jefferies
  • Job Captain: Manuela Istrate
  • Architecture Team : Isaac Mak and Eric Wong
  • Contract Administration: Lisa Debenham
  • Interior Design : Zeidler Partnership Architects
  • General Contractor /Construction Manager: Sub-contractors acquired by Mohawk College
  • Structural Engineers : Halcrow Yolles
  • Mechanical Engineers : MCW Consultants LTD
  • Electrical Engineers : MCW Consultants LTD

Image Courtesy Tom Arban

The courtyards are linked with pedestrian paths and landscaped with student movement in mind. Beneath the windmill generators, grassy sitting areas and pedestrian scale lighting are incorporated into the design, resulting in an outdoor space, which reinforces the College’s image as a “community-facing, modern and sustainable college”. (President Rob MacIsaac).

Image Courtesy Tom Arban

  • Area: 40,000 square feet
  • Completion: January 2011
  • Cost: $14.5 million
  • Client: Mohawk College
  • Sustainability Goals: LEED Gold
  • Annual energy consumption MJ / M2 year = 687 MJ / M2 year
  • Percentage of recycled content: 15%
  • Water consumption from municipal sources = litres / occupant / year  = 8.2 M3

Image Courtesy Tom Arban

The impact on the site was reduced through a landscaping plan, which incorporates hearty, native species. This allows for minimal use of water, fertilizer, and pesticides on the green roof.

Image Courtesy Tom Arban

Heating is provided through a hydronic piping system embedded in the concrete slabs. This configuration takes advantage of the thermal mass of the slab itself, which allows for an even distribution of heat throughout the space. Additionally, as heat is radiated from below, the natural effects of convection ensures that the heat is provided directly to the occupied zone in the space (ie: near the floor), rather than from diffusers in the ceilings. This reduces fan power, energy consumption and dependence on fossil fuels.

Image Courtesy Tom Arban

Vibrantly coloured glazing creates a sense of warmth and contrast in the quiet student gathering and learning spaces. The brightly lit interior guides the students towards the building from the street on frigid winter days.

Image Courtesy Tom Arban

In the interior spaces daylight is maximized by incorporating glazing throughout the building, which reduces the use of electric lighting and saves on operating costs. Additionally, all lighting is equipped with either daylight sensors or occupancy sensors, or both, ensuring that the building responds to environmental and occupant conditions.

Image Courtesy Tom Arban

Close to 75% of the building provides usable space for students and staff. In an average building between 40- 50% is usable space.  The creation of quiet learning spaces for students was a priority Mohawk students identified on key performance indicator surveys. The new library represents Mohawk’s vision to inspire learning, citizenship and innovation. Inspired by the ways in which modern mobile technology influence “plugged-in learning,” the spaces within the collaboratorium are flexible and fully wired to accommodate current technology. As part of the overall campus revitalization, the library forms the heart of its creative culture that will drive new generations of tomorrow’s skilled leaders.

Image Courtesy Tom Arban

The design established a new vernacular for the campus.  Future renovation projects will build upon this ‘street’ framework and extend the architectural language established in the Mohawk Learning Exchange through the premises, creating clear circulation routes and an understandable, complete campus.

Image Courtesy Tom Arban

 Project Specifications

A 30,000 sf, two-storey “link” building to be the iconic new image of the campus on Fennell. The new learning exchange building will connect to three existing surrounding buildings and will include 10, 60-seat classrooms and an E-Learning Centre. It will be minimum LEED Gold and will be on an extremely fast-track schedule.

Elevation

The interior of the building is primarily concrete to reduce the use of raw materials. Concrete was selected as the primary construction material for its durability and finishing characteristics.

Top View

Low-emitting adhesives, coatings, sealants, paints, and carpets were used to ensure optimal air quality.

A living wall graces the main entrance and acts as both a focal point and as a natural bio-filter, removing carbon dioxide and other contaminates from return air.

lower_level_plan

Heating is provided through a hydronic piping system embedded in the concrete slabs. This configuration takes advantage of the thermal mass of the slab itself, which allows for an even distribution of heat throughout the space. Additionally, as heat is radiated from below, the natural effects of convection ensures that the heat is provided directly to the occupied zone in the space (ie: near the floor), rather than from diffusers in the ceilings. This reduces fan power, energy consumption and dependence on fossil fuels.

upper_level_plan

In the interior spaces daylight is maximized by incorporating glazing throughout the building, which reduces the use of electric lighting and saves on operating costs. Additionally, all lighting is equipped with either daylight sensors, occupancy sensors, or both, ensuring that the building responds to environmental and occupant conditions.

Image Courtesy Tom Arban

Image Courtesy Tom Arban

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Category: Educational Institute

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