The competition hosted by the Northern Ontario School of Architecture (now known as Laurentian Architecture) searched for ideas for a new school in northern Ontario. Winners were selected at the end of October. This competition generated ideas which pushed the enevolope, questioning the roles of schools of architecture. What are the physical characteristics? What are the more abstract, theoretical ones? How can this new school satisfy the unique nature of Northern Ontario?
There are two distinct aspects proposed for the school that were to be carefully considered. First, it will be providing a dual-stream education – students can study in either French or English. The second is that it will deeply engage with and learn from the First Nation communities throughout the province. Winners after the break. More information on the competition’s official website.
First Place Daniele Rocchio & Ferdinando Mazza / Focolta di Architettura Valle Giulia Sapienza / Italy
A project that works more closely with the surrounding landscape, readdressing it, bringing it into the core – it is an exciting prospect. This proposal could enhance the industrial landscape that exists today. Highlights the history of the place, enhancing it by using the existing forms to its advantage. It may be the least ‘urban’ of the projects in that it could work almost anywhere. It does however, address urbanism but not in the traditional sense. It’s success is in its intimate spaces and the network of views that are created. There are still questions that remain in terms of elevations, the relationship between the interior and exterior.
From a distance, an interesting project that would likely pull you in to explore the downtown. There are many metaphors going on – the mass of the ice, the stone, it’s part of the story of the building. To a certain extent it’s a connector, providing an interesting edge to the core, almost altering the boundaries of the core. There is an appreciation in its sensitivity to orientation based on the northern climate. A very intelligent project that covers a lot of bases. It’s dynamic in the way it addresses urban issues and intriguing in how it’s pieces filter into the surroundings – like a mirage in the distance. People would come to Sudbury to see this building.
Second Place Dylan Sauer and Joe Smith / Yale School of Architecture / USA
The idea of hop-scotching between buildings to attend each element of the school would be an appealing experience – the notion that you leave a structure and are forced to interact with your surroundings while moving to another structure. Making the entire school downtown rips at the core of what it is to be a school – bringing a ‘soul’ to the core.
The project would have benefited from more thought put into the ‘winter experience’. In hustling people through the downtown, this project has certain virtues. As a master plan, this project is successful and would give visibility to the school at every corner. This project provides a great deal of flexibility in its planning. It could benefit from some more sculptural elements. While it doesn’t solve everything, it gives a future competition the option of study for entrants – a basis from which the school could grow.
Third Place Michael Blois, Sean MacLean and Jason Fung / Ryerson University / Canada
Also creating a network of buildings, rather than a lone standing structure. In it’s presentation, it’s minimalistic which hurt it to a certain extent. Suggests a different kind of architectural school – one that is spread out in with controlled outdoor spaces. Makes a great effort to realize the potential of the downtown with the addition of a new school of architecture. By expanding its boundaries beyond the school itself, it discusses the possibilities for further infill for other schools and other events to cluster around the school.
With further development, building upon its more attractive spaces, this could be a much stronger project. The intent of the project is not expressed through its plans as well as its sections. It has created a direction that is soft and somewhat humble. There is an ability to move easily across the spaces as it digs down and builds up. As a school of architecture, it has a nice scale to it complete with intriguing, intimate spaces.