Board of Regents approves concept design for core sciences facility
The Board of Regents has approved the concept design for the future core sciences facility.
The design was one of three put forward by the building’s internal steering committee following months of discussions with HOK Canada, the prime consultant on the project.
The three proposed options were presented to the Memorial University community at a town hall session on June 25th, where the firm’s science and technology planners, senior designers and architects discussed the design elements and functional program requirements that led to these concept designs.
The selected 3-pavilion option is comprised of three interlinked learning/research “neighbourhoods”, featuring back-to-back research labs, with shared support in the middle, which are then connected to teaching labs and surrounded by collaboration spaces and faculty offices.
This compact and efficient design will encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and student crossover from teaching to research spaces, forming a vibrant, collaborative academic community where people can come into contact with each other and share ideas.
The neighbourhoods will rest above highly active lower floors devoted to undergraduate focused functions, some of the Core Research Equipment and Instrument Training (CREAIT) Network’s dynamic facilities, partner spaces, and gathering places with convenient connection into the broader campus.
“The dynamic design aesthetic of the new facility is inspired by both Memorial’s spirit of progressive innovation and Newfoundland and Labrador’s distinctive natural heritage,” said President Gary Kachanoski. “In particular I would like to thank the provincial government for their support of the project and also to the members of the steering committee who have worked so hard to get us to this juncture.”
A gateway site for the university, the building, which will be located in what is now Lot 16, will be highly visible to anyone driving or walking along the Prince Philip Parkway. As such, the designers felt it was important to make the facility a “signature presence” that would showcase sustainability and put the excellence of the units housed inside on display to the world.
The building will also be connected to the University Centre via a walkway, and allow for future connections to the Education building and the new parking structure, with a goal of eventually connecting that facility to the Health Science Centre.
While building materials and colour schemes have yet to be determined, the designers say they intend to stay true to the natural character of both the university and the province with a building that incorporates a dynamic shape and colour that reacts to the natural elements such as light, fog and wind.
HOK is expected to deliver a detailed concept report to the university by July 22nd and following that, Memorial will make a submission to government for approval to proceed to the next design stages.
The first tenders on the project will be called in March of 2015 and continuing throughout that year with construction ongoing through to the summer of 2019. Occupation of the new facility is expected for the fall of that year.