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Zeidler Architecture

Zeidler Architecture

Toronto, ON, CA

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Cummings Library and Collaboratory, Mohawk College

As a result of 30 years of unplanned growth, Mohawk College’s Fennell Campus lacked a central organization and a distinct entrance. The Cummings Library and Collaboratory emphasises orientation to the street, defining Mohawk’s relationship to the neighbourhood as the front door of the campus. The addition creates a central hub for student activity with sustainability and technology at the core of its design and day-to-day operation, expressing a fundamental shift in Mohawk’s philosophy about teaching and learning.  

The design establishes a gateway to the College with iconic signage and a celebrated front entrance. Landscaped courtyards with hearty, native species animate street edges and a fully-glazed, two-storey curtain wall lights up Fennell Avenue with colour and student life. The design integrates a strong north-south link, connecting existing buildings and defining the campus’ organization. From the street entrance, visitors are drawn along the long, glazed spine flooded with natural light to the central student hub organized around a double-height biowall and open feature stairway. 
 
Wired to adapt to changing technology, classrooms and the library are fully connected, multi-functional and provide a foundation for dynamic teaching. The Collaboratory provides students with flexible seating catering to both group and independent study, and computer stations provide students a comfortable space to work and interact. The introduction of informal, attractive places have encouraged students to gather and share ideas outside of the formal classroom setting. The space is filled with natural light tinted by colourful glazing, forming the façade facing Fennell Avenue. Exposing the bustling of student activity within signifies Mohawk’s identity as a community-facing, modern College.

 
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Status: Built
Location: Hamilton, ON, CA
Firm Role: Architecture, Interior Design