Nestled in Barrie, Ontario, Canada is the Georgian College – a pioneering institute that is more than a place for students to earn a diploma or degree. It’s a place where students are encouraged to “innovate with faculty, industry and community partners to turn ideas into products and grow the regional economy.” (Georgiancollege.ca).
In November 2018, the College announced the opening of the game-changing, $30 million, 56,000 square foot Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre. The Centre, which is home to the first engineering, environmental sustainability and computer science degrees in central Ontario, offers the best in research, emerging technologies, manufacturing, engineering and more. With so much innovation happening, it was important that the design support and inspire students, while reflecting the significance of this College. Teeple Architects partnered with Architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson to achieve this.
Georgian College is really a hub for technology, research and innovation. We wanted to honour the vision of the College and, for us, the starting point for this project was the concept that the building itself could be a teaching tool,” says Myles Craig, Teeple Architects. “This idea influenced not just the esthetic design of the space, but also the space’s functionality and sustainability. The design incorporates a geothermal pump system and high efficiency boilers that are behind glass on display to students and staff, exposed cable trays and services, and loads of natural light, thanks to Solera.”
Three-inch Solera R18 and one-inch Solera R5 were used in conjunction with vision glass to create a stunning fully glazed, three storey central atrium. This spine is a pivotal design element that not only offers views of Little Lake and the forest, but also acts as a central organizing space for the building – a bright, airy, open space that connects people.
One of the most unique features of this project include the creation of collaborative student-centered spaces. Myles explains: “Informal student study spaces are often a priority of the institution, but are not a fundable program element, so we we’re creative in carving out areas between teaching spaces where students can gather informally. Using spaces that are often overlooked, like stairwell landings, allows us to fit in these student spaces, and adds a lot of interest. Solera was key for this, as the abundant natural light really helps makes these in-between spaces very welcoming & attractive to students looking for a space to sit and read or study.”
We’re always interested in creating spaces that have as much natural light as possible,” says Myles. “Quite simply, daylight makes people happy. Solera was important for this project, because it helped us manage the light levels while maintaining the desired R-Value. This is especially important in colder months – which can be frigid in Canada – when controlling heating costs and energy consumption is important.”
SOLERA insulated glass products are designed to deliver superior daylighted spaces and a wide range of thermal insulation from R2 to R25. Our product lines are engineered to be highly configurable, allowing control of light diffusion and transmittance, control of solar gain, thermal insulation, sound transmittance, aesthetics, safety and more. Our services include illumination, lighting and daylighting analysis, glare/contrast and thermal modeling.
Photographer credit: Scott Norsworthy
Tillmann Ruth Robinson