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Build 2000

Trent's New Chemical Sciences Building Receives National Architecture Award

Canadian Architect Award of Merit 2003 recognizes Teeple Architects in association with Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners

The newest building on Trent University's Symons Campus - the Chemical Sciences Building (CSB) - has been recognized for its architectural significance with a 2003 Award of Merit from Canadian Architect magazine.

The national award, announced in the magazine's December 2003 issue, recognizes Teeple Architects in association with Shore Tilbe Irwin & Partners, among the 11 winners. The awards honour design excellence - "a project's ability to expand the dimensions of architecture's role in society and as a discipline," stated Marc Boutin, jury member and architect, in the magazine.

The Chemical Sciences Building houses the Chemistry department and the Water Quality Centre as well as 21 offices for Chemistry and other faculty and staff members, ten research labs, four chemistry teaching labs, a computational chemistry lab, a problem set lab, and a science conference meeting room.

"The University would like to congratulate the architects, who worked so closely with the building's future occupants though the design stages," says Dr. Jim Sutcliffe, associate dean of science.

"The award is an honour, and we are pleased to be continuing the Ron Thom legacy of exceptional architecture on the Symons Campus. It's interesting that a highly-technical chemical sciences teaching and research facility, with its specialized systems and functions, can also be nationally recognized for its architectural value."

For more than 30 years, Canadian Architect has sponsored this annual national awards program. The magazine itself features a double-page spread on the Chemical Sciences Building that includes renderings and site plans, an architectural description of the facility and jurors' comments.

"I really appreciate the level of integration of the building into the landscape," stated jury member and landscape architect Janet Rosenberg.

The project's principal design architect Stephen Teeple, says the high-level labs and chemical sciences program requirements, combined with a somewhat difficult site made for challenging work, though the result, he adds, is a favourite.

"From my perspective, the conceptual basis for the design is architecture that acts as part of the landscape," he said, adding the building enhances the experience of the bridge, river and overall landscape. "In some cases, it's (the building) integrated, but on the other hand, it's quite a dramatic composition of forms."

He highlights the "living" podium-level roof, which will be planted with grasses four or five-feet tall. Mr. Teeple explains the roof relates to the landscape, but is also a sustainable design feature. Meanwhile, the student experience was paramount to the design of the CSB and its brightness and constant relationship to the landscape from the interior, are resulting features.

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. This national review of design and practice documents significant architecture and design from across the country and features articles on current practice, building technology, and social issues affecting architecture.

Posted January 27, 2004

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