The Lassonde School of Engineering’s desire to create an engineering school like no other is realized in the new Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence. This beautiful building on the campus of York University voices an ambitious mandate: to create the home of the Renaissance Engineer who is free to explore their passions and gain different perspectives from the world around them. Renaissance Engineers think in big systems not little silos, design with people in mind and embrace ambiguity. Housed within a physical manifestation of a “cloud that sits above a rock”, social and collaborative spaces sit alongside intense research and academic areas, facilitating innovative and inspirational cross-pollination of ideas and values. After an involved and collaborative design process, this world class facility expresses new pedagogies of a new “landscape of learning” that is visually and physically connected back to the building’s campus surroundings and supports every aspect of learning and student life.
Interviews with University Executives, students and ZAS Architects + Interiors reveal the design process and the successful delivery of the following client benefits:
- A statement building that differentiates Lassonde from other engineering schools.
- Enrolment has exceeded expectations and will translate into increased attraction and retention of students, faculty and staff. The Bergeron Centre will undoubtedly be viewed as a world class facility.
- Supports an ambitious Renaissance Engineering vision that celebrates the principles of class, style and substance. Innovative design thinking has optimized the building for active learning, interaction and innovation.
- Students feel valued, welcomed and productive in a student-centric environment where their spaces are the priority of the design.
- Triangulated glass panels form a shimmering “cloud” facade – inspiring limitless blue sky thinking, reflective of Renaissance principles of innovation and breaking from convention.
- Exceptional project and construction management utilizing 3D Building Information Modelling (BIM) allowed for delivery of an impressive and complex building on a tight, inflexible timeline.