Wednesday, September 23, 2020, Peterborough
Situated along the banks of the Otonabee River, the Student Centre at Trent University, a hub of student activity located at the heart of the Peterborough campus, has been recognized for its innovative design and focus on sustainability with a 2020 Design Excellence Award from the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA).
“Trent University is honoured to have our Student Centre recognized with this prestigious award,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “The Centre continues our long history of architectural excellence. Its inspired design and functionality underscores the exceptional work of the architects, builders, students, staff and administrators who made it possible.”
Opened in 2017, with student vision and connection in mind, the sweeping structure has been selected as one of ten winners from dozens of entries ranging from public spaces to government buildings.
“The Student Centre is deeply rooted in the campus,” reflects Stephen Teeple, architect and founder of Teeple Architects, the architects who worked on the Student Centre. “It is reflective of the geometry, materiality and the strong focus of the place on the river, yet it infuses a more dynamic, open spirit into the architecture. Spaces in the Student Centre offer more natural light, more openness, and more views of the river. The building brings two important routes together, the river walk and the campus entry path. These cross in the building itself in a three-storey social space called the forum, hence bringing students together.”
Judged by a jury of design and architecture experts, the Student Centre was selected for the OAA award based on criteria including creativity, sustainability and legacy. Paying tribute to the original iconic Ron Thom architecture on the Symons Campus, the building is home to a wide variety of welcoming indoor and outdoor social areas facilitating meetings and social events, as well as study spaces, state-of-the-art lecture rooms, and offices for the Trent Central Student Association (TCSA).
Teeple Architects will receive the award at an online Celebration of Excellence on October 1, 2020. The winning projects were also featured on the OAA’s social media throughout the week of September 14, 2020, followed by an online voting period that is open to the public. The top selection will receive a People’s Choice Award as part of the celebration in October.
Stephen Teeple, principal of Teeple Architects, was granted an honorary degree from Trent University in 2018 for his impressive contributions to the body of Canadian architecture in general, and to Trent University’s campus in particular. In addition to the Student Centre, Mr. Teeple designed the Trent University Childcare Centre (1994), the Physics Building (1999), and the Chemical Sciences Building (2008).
Trent’s Student Centre was built for and by the students of Trent University. In spring of 2013 a forward-thinking cohort of Trent students voted yes to a levy that would provide $10.5 million to fund the new Student Centre, and set the wheels in motion for the new building. This funding, combined with an outpouring of philanthropic support from the Trent community including, the Board of Governors, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as University contributions, helped complete the $16 million project.
About Trent University
One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
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