Creative design

Sundials Drive Creative Design at Canadian Campus

By Eric Althoff

OSHAWA, Canada — Sundials have helped people tell the time for centuries, and now, inspired by that very concept, Montgomery Sisam Architects has designed a new building at Ontario Tech University that “revolves” around the time. idea of ​​solar orientation.

As a result, the new general building for education and students has been designed in such a way that light diffuses from the structure in a unique way throughout the day, casting various shadows as the sun crosses the sky. Montgomery Sisam used a concrete cladding, whose four different types of shaped panels create what the company calls a “playful” dance between shadow and light. It is also intended to evoke the dichotomy of mass and weightlessness as solid mass gives off a non-physical shadow.

“From an architectural point of view, this building is quite interesting. For the design, we were very inspired by the idea of ​​creating a physical manifestation of a sundial, ”Daniel Ling, principal architect at Montgomery Sisam Architects, told School Construction News. “To develop this unique design intent, we studied how the sun moves throughout the building. We then turned to shaped concrete panels… so the perspective changes and changes as the solar orientation does throughout the day.

The 80,000 square foot building will provide classrooms as well as administrative and social spaces, with the latest technological innovations offered throughout the facility. The architect’s plans ensure that a decent amount of natural light would enter the building.

Levels 1 and 2 will house the student union, lounges and study areas, all arranged around an open atrium to promote interaction. A staircase allows these areas to be seamlessly connected to the lower level conference center and the student club area. Levels 3, 4 and 5 are designed to be more private as they accommodate classrooms, administrative offices and various other functions that require less intrusive noise.

“We also focused on creating spaces where students could come together, whether that was by gravitating to the building from other spaces on campus, or through the connectivity that the indoor space was designed for. promote, ”Ling added. “Spatially, this is reflected in the fact that the lower level connects to the multi-story space which allows light to flow easily throughout the building. Distinct but complementary materials – concrete, metal, wood and stone – also offer a unique expression and tactile quality that is at the same time sympathetic to the existing fabric of the campus.

Toronto-based Montgomery Sisam worked on a joint venture with Architecture Counsel and on the design-build contract with general contractor Eastern Construction, headquartered in Scarborough, Ontario.

“Ultimately, we hope that the new general education and student building at the Ontario Tech University space can serve as a center of gravity for student life on campus,” Ling concluded.

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