Owner: University of Windsor
Location: Windsor, Ontario
Size: 60,000 sf
The highly urban nature of this design study aims to transform the building into a dynamic hub for downtown Windsor. The building is conceived as an aperture and living room within the city. The programmatic activity and inhabitation of the building is directly connected to the street and city. The use of large glazed apertures represent windows for the city to view the school and for the school to view the city as an analogy to social dialogue and communication.
This strong relationship between the project and the city is augmented by the design of an active urban plaza adjacent to the building. The plaza will become a vital public space for students and the community alike. A sunken seating area, landscaped spaces and a concrete arch serve to frame the renovated Armouries and create a focal point for performances, informal gatherings and city events. The plaza will also become a major arrival marker as it greets motorists entering Canada from the Detroit/Windsor tunnel.
Programmatically, the building is designed with flexibility and student interactivity in mind. All teaching spaces are able to transform and adapt to changing needs. Classrooms can merge to accommodate larger sizes. Key walls can be removed as to allow students to spill out into the generous corridors that double as breakout areas and various project and social spaces. Furthermore, the uppermost level is reserved for administrative and office functions and will have access to a large rooftop park.