Zeidler Partnership complete sustainable building that provides flexible multipurpose classrooms
The new Learning Exchange is an integral part of the Fennell Campus renewal project at Mohawk College where it forms a new, landmark front entrance to the campus increasing the visibility of the College, meeting one of the client’s primary goals for the project. The new building entrance at the street first provides access to the Cummings Library, then transforms into a connected, enclosed walkway which becomes an animated corridor of activities pulling you further into the ‘Main Street’ through the existing buildings. In addition to a roof top garden terrace, exterior courtyard spaces are formed on either side of the corridor providing a welcome access to nature for the students.
The three-level building houses the new Cummings Library, an applied research and innovation lab and 10 multi-purpose classrooms wired with the latest multimedia and internet technologies in approximately 43,000 sq ft designed to LEED Gold standard. Not your traditional library, the ground floor provides access to a digital library that comprises 2/3 of the total library collection. Called the ‘collaboratory’, the second floor allows students access to the latest in information, computing and communication technology facilitating interaction between students and staff.
The lower level houses the multipurpose classrooms that also provide the latest in wired technology. Lit by a bank of windows at the roof level, the ‘grand’ stair flanked by a living two storey bio-wall is the main organisational pivot point for the building. The custom-formed, mushroom-shaped structural columns are a distinctive feature of the building, both from within and from the street through the totally frameless glass curtain wall. This high-performance glazing, radiant floor heating on the lower level and a green roof are some of the many sustainable features that provide for optimal occupant comfort while providing a healthy study, work and socialising space.