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Queen’s University Student Centre Addition Design Wins National Architecture Award

queen's university canadian architect

Queen's University John Deutsch University Centre Revitalization, designed by HDR and MJMA, was recently awarded the Canadian Architect magazine Award of Excellence.

The Canadian Architect annual national design awards program is one of the most prestigious in Canada. Of the many projects submitted, the student centre was one of six to receive the highest designation “Award of Excellence.” 

The building is designed to be a well-loved student hub at the heart of the campus that houses student clubs, a pub, meeting rooms, 100-room residence and large assembly spaces for concerts, performances, debates and exhibitions. As an addition and a renovation to a heritage building and a reimagining of the landscape around it, the design addressed issues spanning from functionality and access to sustainability and safety. 

Switchback planes connect the two levels of the student centre, creating a multi-layered experience that highlights and supports student safety, wellness and campus culture. Through natural materials, light and good ventilation, this inclusive building will be a healthy and productive workplace and social hub.

Jury comments included:

  • Rami Bebawi, co-founder of Montréal-based KANVA: “Bravo - I find this very skillful and elegant. It’s so intimidating to work next to a heritage building. [This project] doesn’t contrast or mimic the historic building, but keeps its own identity.”
  • Joe Lobko partner at DTAH, a Toronto-based multi-disciplinary design firm: “This is an intelligent and effective addition in the heart of an established university campus. It creates a beautiful and convincing student gathering place while strongly marking its corner site and providing a welcoming invitation to this part of the campus. It knits old and new, but allows each to be of its time.”