Encouraging a learning environment conducive for creativity and innovation, ZAS architects were charged with developing the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence at York University in Canada. Its student-driven design process led to a modern approach rooted in providing the best facilities, while serving as a platform for the ‘Creative problem solver and entrepreneurial leader with a social conscience’.
The Bergeron Centre contains 15,700 square metres of floor space on five levels rising from the campus to create a ‘Landscape of learning’. The exterior is defined by its undulating and tessellated façade comprised of a series of triangles from the result of an algorithm which has given the building its cloud-like properties. Throughout the campus, a play of light and pattern is consistently seen.
Challenging the norm of educational architecture, the organisation of the campus has been inverted. With no lecture halls; the boundaries between students and faculty have been seamlessly integrated to promote flexibility learning. The results are spacious and light-filled learning spaces; embodying an immersive environment balancing social and academic areas which echo the look of a tech start-up.
With services and offices located in the core, the corridors have also been utilised as small niches with white board-walls and areas for brainstorming. Presenting itself as a hub for entrepreneurship, collaboration, and creativity, the institution has an ambitious mandate for gender balance – the first engineering school of its kind in Canada.
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