Queen’s proposed student centre design wins national architecture award
December 13, 2019
Canadian Architect magazine recognized the proposed design for a revitalized John Deutsch University Centre (JDUC) with a 2019 Award of Excellence recently. For 53 years, the annual award program has highlighted exceptional architectural projects during the design stage. Prize jurors lauded the plans for its sustainability features, its focus on increasing accessibility, and for seamlessly blending historic and contemporary design.
“The JDUC has served as a central student hub on campus for more than 70 years and has been integral to the student experience here at Queen’s,” says John Witjes, Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities). “Our team has worked closely with Queen’s student representatives and the architectural teams to imagine a revitalized JDUC that will encourage learning and community, and be open and inclusive to everyone.”
The redevelopment plan, designed by architects from HDR + MJMA, includes a refreshed look for the facility, the addition of new study and social areas for undergraduate and graduate students, rooms for campus clubs and student services, and accessible entrances and amenities. The proposed sustainability features have been designed to meet the requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification.
Spearheaded by the Alma Mater Society (AMS) and Society of Graduate and Professional Students (SGPS), the redevelopment project was conditionally approved by Queen’s University’s Board of Trustees in March 2019.
“This is an intelligent and effective addition in the heart of an established university campus,” says Joe Lobko, an award juror whose comments were shared by Canadian Architect. “It creates a beautiful and convincing student gathering place while strongly marking its corner site and providing a welcoming invitation to this part of the campus. It knits old and new, but allows each to be of its time.”
Under the Queen’s-supported proposal, the AMS and SGPS will contribute $50.5 million over 25 years, through a student fee levy – contributions confirmed during graduate and undergraduate referendums in February 2018 and January 2019. Queen’s will support the initiative with a contribution of $11.8 million, including $1.8 million from the university’s operating funds, and $10 million in donor support. Fundraising for the project is underway.
“It is a priority for Queen’s to invest in the creation of spaces that support our students, giving them the resources they need to live, study, gather, build community, and access support services that will enable them to thrive,” says Karen Bertrand, Vice-Principal (Advancement). “We are now turning to our alumni and friends with the hope they will be inspired and contribute to this important project.”
Construction will begin once the JDUC revitalization project meets its fundraising target and the Board of Trustees grants final approval.