Seneca College – Newnham Campus Building A

Designed for the digital revolution

Education

Seneca College is Ontario’s largest college, with approximately 20,000 full-time students and 70,000 part time students enrolled in four campuses in the greater Toronto area. The four-storey facility is a living lab with exposed systems, flexible for future adaptations, and providing a welcoming atmosphere for student learning and interaction. An engaging gateway to the campus, Building A provides an additional 1,000 student seats and includes classrooms, computer labs, common areas, circulation, and an information commons. The building was completed on time and on budget via a two-year fast-track construction schedule as a part of the federal government’s Knowledge Infrastructure Program.

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Location
Toronto, ON
Client
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology
Completion
2011
Collaborators

BA Consulting Group Ltd.
Isotherm Engineering Ltd.
Jensen Hughes Inc.
Morrison Hershfield Ltd.
QUINN Design Associates Inc.
R.V. Anderson Associates Ltd.
Shikatani Lacroix Design Inc.
EllisDon

DIALOG Services

Architecture
Interior Design
Mechanical Engineering
Planning & Urban Design
Structural Engineering

Form

Brutalist concrete from the existing campus buildings is echoed in the massing design of the concrete stairwells. 

Welcome centre

Building A is the Campus’s main building and the welcome hub for students and visitors.

Minkler Atrium

The atrium is the primary circulation point of Building A while also aligning to the major circulation axes on campus.

Computing commons

Students and employees have access to an open area where computers are available for use.

Study commons

A large sky-lit area contains both high and low communal tables, as well as lounge seating with moveable screens.

Study commons

Students are encouraged to occupy the hallways of the building, contributing to more social connectivity.

Adaptability

The furniture selection allows for flexibility as well as instant regrouping and reconfiguration, facilitating multiple teaching styles.

Lighting the way

Corridors encircle the outside of the building, letting natural light flood common areas and making for a friendly exchange as well as quiet study.

Glazing

The building has an impressive glazing ratio that not only provides daylight to the interior spaces but also increases the building’s overall energy efficiency.

New materials

Zinc panels, a new material at the campus, mark the boundaries of the building.

The Team

The creation of the new building has provided Seneca’s Newnham campus with an identity it historically lacked.

Craig Applegath
Evoke DIALOG | Seneca College A+ Building | Toronto, ON Designed for the digital revolution

It all started with a sketch.

Connectivity

The site was challenged with reinventing a neglected interstitial courtyard space that functioned primarily as an exit path for a number of existing buildings.

Access to daylight

Rooftop clerestories above the atria create a strong connection to the outdoors and fill the spaces with natural light, which minimizes the need for electrical lighting and reduces energy consumption.