Seneca College Newnham Campus Master Plan

Toronto, Ontario

Seneca College



Beginning with a congested, unplanned collection of 1970s buildings, the firm, working with architectsAlliance, ‘reverse engineered’ a welcoming campus with legible circulation and meaningful interior and exterior spaces.

The plan included a 20–Year Master Plan and immediate plans for the execution of a Phase 1 that included site works, 29,165 m2 in renovations of the existing 1970s–era buildings, and the construction of a new 5,575 m2 Faculty of Business building with faculty and administration offices, student lounges, retail/exhibit space, 100 classrooms and labs, and a 3,000 m2 multi–media student commons.

The new Faculty of Business building energized the public spaces around it by creating a sheltered space between Buildings A and C. Secondary entrances let out onto this courtyard and the lounges and Internet cafés overlook it, which makes the space especially popular during good weather. The master plan also outlined the transformation of the conventional ‘campus lawn’ landscape approach to a sustainable plan using indigenous species. A major new circulation spine was developed to extend through the campus from the south entrance, providing a core for the campus’ re–configured and coherent new circulation system. The sustainable design principles applied included the replacement of un–insulated metal cladding with clear and patterned thermal glass, structural steel recovered from renovation used in new construction and energy–efficient lighting and building systems installed throughout. The College saved $500,000 in operating costs in the first year after project completion.

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We prepare comprehensive plans for new communities ranging from high-density urban infill projects in areas subject to intensification, through to responsible greenfield development. Starting with an assessment of the local environment, we develop plans and designs that build on the history of the site, while identifying opportunities for sustainable growth.