Queen’s University John Deutsch University Centre

Queens University John Deutsch Centre

Queen’s University John Deutsch University Centre

A Student Hub at the Heart of the Campus

To improve connectivity and enhance the flow of student life, Queen’s University needed to consolidate academic, social and wellness pursuits into one single hub at the heart of its campus. With the addition to the John Deutsch University Centre, we provided an integrated and connected building and surrounding landscape that threads together the many different paths of the student body at its center while providing students with space for respite and pause.


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 center, 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.

The landscape design pragmatically addresses functionality and social vitality, making the site more beautiful, durable and ecologically sustainable. On the inside, the unique and intriguing building form and integrated learning environment enhance the image of the campus by creating a space for all to gather, relax, recharge and reconnect.

Additional highlights include:

  • Increased access at grade and new ramping functions to existing entrances made possible by shifting the first floor to street level
  • Indigenous approach and characteristics meaningfully integrated into the building and landscape design as a result of close work with the Queen’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee
  • A new subterranean loading point for an expedited and efficient process to replace hazardous loading functions at grade
  • A car-free pedestrian public court above the loading dock that results in safer and more accessible movement between buildings and clarifies the university’s intended paths of travel across this central campus junction

Designed in collaboration with MJMA.

Queens University John Deutsch Centre
Queen's University

Kingston, ON

93,500 sf (8686 m²)


Top Prize (2020)
Unbuilt – Education Category, Best of Design Awards
Architect’s Newspaper
Award of Excellence (2019)
Canadian Architect