December 6, 2023
Two buildings on the Queen’s campus are being recognized for their contributions to the Kingston cityscape and the community that calls it home. Mitchell Hall and the Endaayaan-Tkanónsote Student Residence are among the winners of the 2023 Kingston Livable City Design Awards, which were recently announced by the city.
The awards are intended to highlight new buildings in the city that, among other things, make a significant contribution to its visual identity and the quality of the environment for the community. The City of Kingston’s Planning and Services Department coordinates the awards, and the winners are selected by external judges.
“Queen’s put great care into ensuring that these spaces were designed with the needs of our community in mind, and both projects are deeply informed by our commitments to strategic priorities such as sustainability, student wellness, and equity,” says Tony Gkotsis, Director, Campus Planning and Real Estate. “These projects represent the substantial efforts of many at the university as well as the partners who helped us make them a reality. We are thrilled that these two buildings are being recognized by the City of Kingston in this way.”
The Livable City Design Awards are typically awarded every three years, however they were not administered in 2020 due to the pandemic, making the 2023 awards the first since 2017.
Mitchell Hall: past and present mix in a space for innovation and wellness
Mitchell Hall is being recognized with an Award of Merit, which are presented to projects that demonstrate excellence in one or more of the evaluation criteria and are in keeping with the City of Kingston’s design objectives and principles.
Officially opened in 2019, Mitchell Hall is situated on Union Street in the heart of campus. It incorporates heritage features from the original 1930 “New Gymnasium” building it replaced, most notably its Kingston limestone exterior and five monumental windows on the second floor that allow sunlight to pour into the atrium. The design compliments the Collegiate Gothic architecture that defines many of the iconic Queen’s buildings around it while also sporting a range of modern features, including glass exterior walls along select common spaces.
“The project is merit worthy because of historic preservation efforts including the reopening of exterior windows in the older portion of the building,” said the jury in their comments on the building. “The jury appreciated the careful efforts to blend the new and existing portions of the structure – and the two have come together very well.”
A striking visual presence on campus, Mitchell Hall is also a hub for the Queen’s community. In addition to Smith Engineering classrooms and labs, several student services are located in the building, including Student Wellness Services, the Queen’s University International Centre, an Exam Centre, the Office of the Off-Campus Living Advisor, and Faith and Spiritual Life. There are also three gyms, and The Rose Events Commons provides a popular event space used by groups across the university.
Mitchell Hall provides a home for several campus units dedicated to innovation, including the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre and Queen’s Ingenuity Labs.
Endaayaan-Tkanónsote Student Residence: sustainable and welcoming spaces, indoors and out
The Endaayaan-Tkanónsote Student Residence is being recognized with an Award of Excellence, which is presented to projects that exemplify the city’s design objectives and principles. Queen’s newest student residence, the building on Albert Street welcomed its first students for the 2022 fall semester, providing 334 fully equipped rooms and a range of modern and accessible amenities throughout.
Designed with the character of the city in mind, the building integrates two of the original five houses from the site into its design to maintain the look and feel of the surrounding community. It has also achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, contributing to the university’s overall sustainability efforts.
“The jury was impressed with the seamless insertion of a high-density student residence in an historic streetscape,” said the jury in its comments on the project. “Both the design of the new residence, which incorporates two historic houses, and the preservation of mature street trees, help to soften the impact of the new building and maintain the existing streetscape character. The historic houses have been carefully repaired and rehabilitated as part of the new residence and the intersection between the new and old is legible and successful in maintaining the historic houses’ prominence and identity.”
The building’s courtyard features an Indigenous gathering space that bears significant Indigenous symbols such as the Two Row Wampum Belt running along the backs of benches where members of the community can gather and reflect. The residence building was officially named in March 2023 in recognition of the region’s Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Indigenous communities, on whose traditional territory lands the university resides. Pronounced end-ah-yawn – t-gaw-noon-so-day, the name means “home” in both Anishinaabemowin (Ojibway) and Kanyen’kéha (Mohawk).