St. Catharines, ON
Brock University Graduate Student Centre
The Graduate Student Association of Brock University early in 2021, involved the program and conceptual designs for a proposed Graduate Student Centre. In what became a fun, fast-tracked and collaborative design exercise, the team developed a facility that fulfills the society’s vision for a dedicated space, where students may connect and network.
Brock is known for its positive student culture and engaging student environments to match; however, it was lacking a space specifically designed to respond to the unique culture of its graduate student populations. “The desire of having a designated space where all graduate students could connect and network with each other has been expressed by many -A Home to Call Our Own.”
The condensed timeline helped to focus the whole team and student representatives, as they worked through three iterative programming options.
The proposed site of this Graduate Student building is tucked away in a quiet location, ideal for their vision, but also a uniquely sloped site with precious greenspace, posing some unique challenges. The solution employed a structural grid design that optimized the building footprint, added visual interest to the interior environment and enhanced the building’s strong connection to the surrounding landscape.
The program includes social gathering spaces centred around a kitchen and bar. New GSA offices are located on the second floor and a flexible multi-purpose boardroom room is prominently positioned to host a variety of activities.
The designs are now public, in a creative campaign, titled “Home to Call Our Own” where graduate students are encouraged to participate in a referendum in support of moving forward with the plan.