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Trent University’s Chemical Sciences Building Wins One of Canada’s Highest Architectural Awards


Friday, May 30, 2008, Peterborough

On May 6, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada announced that Trent University’s Chemical Sciences Building will receive a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, one of the country’s highest awards for outstanding architectural design.

“This is extraordinary recognition for Trent reflecting our goal to create a campus environment of innovative building designs that complement Trent’s beautiful natural setting and the legacy of Ron Thom,” said President Bonnie M. Patterson when she learned about the award. “The architects not only achieved this, but created a national masterpiece in doing so.”

Designed by Teeple Architects Inc. in joint venture with Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners Architects, the Chemical Sciences Building was one of twelve recipients of this prestigious award which recognizes outstanding achievement in recently built projects by Canadian architects. Up to twelve Governor General’s Medals in Architecture are awarded every two years. There is no distinction among the medals awarded.

“The creations of the twelve recipients of the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture make us appreciate the degree to which Canadian architects have transformed the places where we live, work, share culture and come together into a celebration of beauty and human genius,” said Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada.

The Governor General’s Medals in Architecture will be presented in October at Rideau Hall by Her Excellency.

The science centre is conceived as a promenade, both architectural and natural, that brings one into repeated contact with the Otonabee River, the central focus of Ron Thom's Trent University campus. It is directly linked to the ground floor of the existing science precinct and to its second-level circulation system. The promenade weaves between these two levels, presenting views of Trent's unique river landscape to students as they move through the campus and the building. The river is the constant reference point, ever present in one's experience of the place.

In addition to the Chemical Science Building’s aesthetic strengths, many environmental considerations were also incorporated into the design. The project employs low-flow variable air volume fume hoods to minimize heat loss in the building. Heat is recovered from the fume hood exhaust system to achieve an exceptional level of energy efficiency. Green roofs and natural cleansing of all storm water complement its environmental approach.

The Governor General’s Medal of Architecture program contributes to the development of the discipline and practice of architecture, and increases public awareness of architecture as a vital cultural force in Canadian society. The competition continues a tradition initiated by the Massey Medals in 1950. This tradition has provided an important source of understanding of the nature of Canadian architecture and the regional, cultural and historic forces which it expresses. These awards are administered jointly with the Canada Council for the Arts, which is responsible for the adjudication process and contributes to the publication highlighting the medal winners.


For further information, please contact:

John Wordley, director of physical resources, Trent University, at (705) 748-1011, ext. 7308

Stephen Teeple, principal, Teeple Architects, at (416) 598-0554