SCUP/AIA-CAE Excellence in Architecture for a New Building,
The University of Calgary for Energy. Environment. Experiential Learning (EEEL) with DIALOG with Perkins+Will
|Photo by Tom Arban|
Energy. Environment. Experiential Learning (EEEL) is a new undergraduate teaching and research facility at the University of Calgary. It was created to satisfy an urgent need for new facilities to support a rapidly growing population, and to make a very clear statement. The building had to be about the students, be the best possible environment to allow them to learn individually and collaboratively, and integrate learning and research around a theme of energy and environment.
Organized around the concept of science on display, EEEL included undergraduate classrooms and labs that are fully glazed to the corridor beyond to encourage curiosity. An Integrated Design Process (IDP) allowed exploration of innovative design approaches and a solution tailored to specific goals and needs of the university.
The jury said, “ . . . it was dramatic . . . landscape did not compete with the building . . . took a huge utilitarian space, claiming the road and landscape and turned it into a huge front porch . . . sophisticated and elegant . . . there is a spark to this project . . .”
The building had to have a useful life for at least 50 years, be experiential and student-centric. In addition, materials were selected for durability, simplicity, enhancing indoor environmental quality and reduced maintenance.
The social stair is the heart of the building and mirrors the traditional form of the open quad with a surrounding arcade. It connects interactive and experiential spaces together encouraging faculty, student, staff and visitor gatherings. The building’s other social spaces pinwheel off this heart and provide different degrees and types of connections back to the main space.
EEEL is the first major university building sited at the north campus entrance and presents a new, prominent and proud front door to the community.
“A critical component is a fully integrated landscaping plan, which provides numerous learning elements and reconfigures a major campus gateway. EEEL is our first major academic building to touch a public street. It presents a ‘landmark’ façade to the community, and invites them into the university,” says Bob Ellard, vice president, facilities management and development.
Project Team: The University of Calgary with DIALOG with Perkins+Will; also Read Jones Christopherson (RJC) Consulting Engineers; Stebnicki + Partners; O2 Planning + Design; Senez Reed Calder