Conestoga College expansion creates new gateway building in Waterloo

The expansion of Conestoga College’s North Campus has added a four-storey structure to University Avenue in Waterloo, Ontario, acting as a gateway to passersby and showcasing the school’s culinary and hospitality program.

The project, led by Moriyama & Teshima, in collaboration with Gow Hastings Inc., has also added improved learning and applied research spaces to expand the college’s Centre for Food Innovation and Hospitality Management, and Centre for Advanced Learning, Information Technology. Additionally, it has created a centralized access hub integrating the college’s programs and services, such as academic upgrading, career services, and specialized services for new Canadians.

The 16,085-m2 (173,137-sf) expansion abuts the secondary school building constructed in the 1960s. The older building’s facade is characterized by closely repeated fins jutting from a curtain wall, and the forecourt area hosts a large canopy comprising photovoltaic panels. The new addition uses the same palette and curtain wall system to create a visual link to the older building. The culinary school’s design organizes kitchen labs, classrooms, student spaces, food distribution systems, and a restaurant to increase functionality, efficiency, and esthetics.

The overall interior palette is muted, with white dominating the esthetics, and wood finishes complementing the design. However, pops of colour in the furnishings enliven the whiteness. The use of tiles, in a particular assortment, in the kitchen labs won the expansion an award in the 2022 Ceramics of Italy Tile Competition, in the institutional category.

Further, the expansion received an honourable mention in the internationally held 2021 LOOP Design Awards.

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