Kingston, Ontario, Canada
HDR and MJMA’s expansion and renovation of Queen’s John Deutsch University Centre in Kingston, Ontario will transform the residence and social hub into a fully accessible, vibrant, and sustainable home for student life on campus.
To improve connectivity and enhance the flow of student life, Queen’s University needed to consolidate academic, social and wellness pursuits into one single hub at the heart of its campus.
The expanded entrance wing not only adds space for students to gather and relax, learn and socialize, but also revamps the Centre’s ground plane and its relationship to its neighbors, repositioning it as a new front door for the campus.
With the addition to the John Deutsch University Centre, the architects provided an integrated and connected building and surrounding landscape that threads together the many different paths of the student body at its center while providing students with space for respite and pause.
As an addition and a renovation to a heritage building and a reimagining of the landscape around it, the design addressed issues spanning from functionality and access to sustainability and safety. Switchback planes connect the two levels of the student center, creating a multi-layered experience that highlights and supports student safety, wellness, and campus culture. Through natural materials, light, and good ventilation, this inclusive building will be a healthy and productive workplace and social hub.
The landscape design pragmatically addresses functionality and social vitality, making the site more beautiful, durable and ecologically sustainable. On the inside, the unique and intriguing building form and integrated learning environment enhance the image of the campus by creating a space for all to gather, relax, recharge and reconnect.
HDR and MJMA’s design increases access at grade and new ramping functions to existing entrances made possible by shifting the first floor to street level.
The design takes an Indigenous approach and characteristics meaningfully integrated into the building and landscape design as a result of close work with the Queen’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
A new subterranean loading point for an expedited and efficient process to replace hazardous loading functions at grade.
A car-free pedestrian public court above the loading dock results in safer and more accessible movement between buildings and clarifies the university’s intended paths of travel across this central campus junction.
Architects: HDR and MJMA
Client: Queen’s John Deutsch University