Architecture firms selected for key elements of Destination Project

The University of Lethbridge Board of Governors has chosen the firms Stantec Architecture and KPMB Architects, in joint venture, to lead the design process of its new science and academic building and energy/utility centre; key elements of the transformational University of Lethbridge Destination Project.

In its agreement with the U of L, Stantec Architecture/KPMB Architects will undertake a comprehensive consultation process with university and community stakeholders, as well as complete the design phase of the project.

“The Destination Project steering committee deserves recognition for the significant work they undertook to recommend a design team to the board,” says Provost and Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Andy Hakin. “Due to the complexity of this project, the comprehensive selection process took 10 weeks. The final three short-listed submissions were impressive and the final selection decision was difficult. I am confident, however, that we have selected the right group.”

The selection process included a request for qualifications, request for proposals, formal interviews, fee proposals and on-site interviews.

The Stantec Architecture/KPMB Architects team has completed projects of similar scale to the U of L’s new science and academic building in the past, including the $140-million George Brown College Waterfront Health Science Campus and the $622-million Bridgepoint Active Healthcare Complex continuing care facility (both in Toronto, ON).

Hakin has indicated that the level of consultation that will be undertaken in the coming months will be unprecedented for a construction project at the U of L.

“This is one of the largest projects ever undertaken in southern Alberta. An integrated design process that engages key stakeholders is critical to the project’s success,” says Hakin.

The consultation process will begin mid May and feature multiple design “super weeks” where a large contingent of the consultant team will meet with university and community stakeholders. Details of this process will be released in the coming weeks.

Stantec Architecture is a global design practice recognized for client-focused design solutions that seamlessly blend trends in academia, student life and scientific discovery into dynamic and responsive academic environments. KPMB Architects is one of North America’s pre-eminent design practices and has received over 200 awards, including 14 Governor General medals and five American Institute of Architects Honors Awards. Together, the firms have offices in Lethbridge, Calgary and Toronto.

In December 2013, the Government of Alberta announced a $200-million commitment to the Destination Project. Previously, the Province invested $12.5 million towards the planning process of the project.