CIGI Campus - RIBA International Awards 2012 - ENG -
- ENG - The clients wanted a sustainable building that would last a century and would befit its site, the former historic Seagram Distillery.
The architects have responded to the client's wish for a 'vibrant sanctuary' and a design that is 'functional but not fancy', with a contemporary reinterpretation of a traditional Oxford quad complete with courtyard and bell tower. This is one of the first buildings in Ontario to use Bubble Deck systems, in which recycled plastic balls replace 30% of the non-structural concrete.
- ENG - The CIGI Campus is located on the only site in Canada bounded by three Governor General Award-winning buildings – the former Seagram Museum (which was adapted to house CIGI), the Perimeter Institute and the Clay and Glass Museum.
Balsillie School for International Affairs (BSIA) is one component of the CIGI Campus; a series of graduate schools and advanced research institutes inclusive of the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI).
Architecturally the concept revolves around the nature of the spaces that will support and promote the highest level of discourse, teaching and research. The design vision was guided by seven core principles:
- Vibrant Sanctuary
- Academic community
- Integration with CIGI and Waterloo
- Functionality, no Indulgence
- Symbolism and Image
- Local and global impact
The BSIA offers a contemporary interpretation of a traditional academic quad building, and is centred around a generous landscaped courtyard complete with a stone bell tower. Located adjacent to the CIGI building , which occupies the former Seagram Museum and historic 19th century barrel warehouse, it includes an auditorium wing pavilion.
This highly transparent pavilion bridges between the 19th century barrel warehouse which acts/functions as the entrance to the CIGI building, and the masonry clad bar buildings that form the courtyard of the new school. The roof of the auditorium dramatically cantilevers toward Erb Street, and demarcates the entry to the academic complex.
The landscaped courtyard is the central focus of the new building. The court is enclosed by a glazed cloister with Douglas Fir ceilings and columns, the auditorium pavilion, and a 36 m water feature. One of the key challenges was to realize the vision of Jim Balsillie, the patron, to have a vibrant sanctuary.
To that end the design of the new school encourages a high level of social interaction and mixing between faculty and students by including a variety of lounge, study and seating areas throughout the building, including a ground floor café on the court, and fireplace lounges in large glazed bays on the upper levels.