This new addition to the York University campus brings with it an ambitious goal to voice the Lassonde School of Engineering mandate to educate future Renaissance Engineers: entrepreneurial engineers with a social conscience and a sense of global citizenship. Lassonde’s desire to realize an engineering school like no other, challenging the tradition of engineering buildings to define and confine students by discipline, opened possibilities to invite a space of discourse. During the planning process, the design team drew upon two complimentary ideas of mutability: a Cloud and a Rock.
An idea, expressed by the flow of ink on tracing paper, as creativity takes hold. A notion that has to be captured before it’s gone. The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence design was born from such a moment.
Our concept sketch was devised by Gregory Woods, forever referred to as the ‘Architect of Lassonde’.
The cloud’s glazing establishes a continuity of events, coupling programs that might otherwise remain discrete. a constellation of design studios, social spaces, graduate work areas, ‘hoteling’ spaces and break-out zones are mingled from one area to the next. From along the building’s perimeter next to the façade’s irregular openings, to well within the footprint of the building’s core, flexible collaboration spaces are allied in a network.
The rock exaggerates the topography of the site and in doing so sets up a network of access points around the building. Tangential paths, direct passages and staging areas offer an alliance to the main public level of the building. a group of workshops to the south open to a plaza and exterior overlook, continuing into the building’s main assembly space upwards to a mezzanine populated with meeting areas.
Within this sequence of visually dependent student zones is a venue known as the BeST room. here, students are given the opportunity to engage with industry to bring their ideas to a level of realization beyond the campus.
Nature has played a key inspirational role in the development of the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence – from the skies of Ontario to the study of numerous cloud formations. Explore the creative process and the design influences.