New campus brings healthy vibe to waterfront revitalisation
George Brown College’s new 27,870 sq m urban health sciences campus will occupy a prominent site at the intersection of a major new urban waterfront park and Lake Ontario. This new campus recognises the shift in healthcare services from isolated medical functions toward an integrated delivery of care. The overarching vision of the campus is to realise an inter-professional education delivery model through the creation of an environment where students from different professional programs can learn with, from and about each other to understand the importance of collaboration and its impact on quality of care. As one of the first major initiatives on the waterfront, the design must comply with rigorous urban design guidelines, inclusive of street level animation and aiming for LEED® Gold Certification.
The design optimises the lakefront site, drawing on waterfront typologies from pier buildings and industrial lofts creating a new paradigm of health sciences education. A highly flexible academic ‘loft’ bar building anchors the west side of the site. To the south and east, the building steps downward by means of articulated park pavilions. The highly transparent façade expresses the program, maximises view and connection to and from the adjacent park and lake.
A fluid ‘learning landscape’ is embodied within the building section creating a legible vertical circulation from ground plane to accessible green roofs. With its views to the lake and park, these informal gathering spaces are the physical manifestation of the inter-professional education model, providing the opportunity to nurture inter-program collaboration. The transparent podium houses public program components further elevating the project’s vision to become an intercommunity education model.
The campus is envisioned as a ‘living lab’ structured to promote innovative client service models and products that emphasise wellness and health promotion. Conceived as a highly transparent, vertically integrated campus, it is defined by its public connectivity and reinforces an environment of wellness that capitalises on its prime waterfront location.
This project is a joint collaboration between Stantec Architecture and Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg - Architects in Joint Venture