uOttawa, TRU see benefits in growing up, not out

August 29, 2014

An article in the Globe and Mail highlights recent changes in architecture at PSE institutions in Canada. The article notes that for decades, PSE institutions were fixated on the idea that their buildings could not exceed 3 storeys. Don Schmitt, an architect whose firm has worked with 40 colleges and universities, said that “it’s partly because there’s been the tradition across many campuses.” But things may be changing. Schmitt’s firm helped work on the Faculty of Social Sciences building at the University of Ottawa, with 15 storeys. He says that while his team initially met some resistance to their plan for a 15-floor tower, the reception since the building opened has been extremely positive. Institutions in urban settings must be especially conscious of their footprint, and must make more use of the space that they have. Even schools that don’t have such a space crunch are seeing the benefits of reducing sprawl. Thompson Rivers University’s new law school, for instance, allowed the university to re-imagine teaching areas, as well as capitalize on the school’s scenic surroundings. Globe and Mail