Campus Life

Science and Academic Building shortlisted for World Architecture Festival award

The University of Lethbridge’s soon-to-be-completed Science and Academic Building, the centerpiece of the Destination Project, has been shortlisted as a finalist for an award at the World Architecture Festival 2018.

Rendering of the completed Science and Academic Building.

“We’ve always known we were creating something iconic and that this building would set a new standard for science and academic facilities in the country. Now that we’re nearing completion, it’s exciting to see it take shape and be recognized for its design and functionality, which we believe will create a revolutionary teaching and research environment,” says U of L Provost and Vice-President (Academic), Dr. Andy Hakin.

Designed by KPMB|Stantec – Architects in Association, the Science and Academic Building is competing in the Education – Future Project category, with a winner to be announced at the World Architecture Festival in Amsterdam, November 28-30. The U of L project is one of 12 in the category, which includes a trio of Australian buildings, two from both Russia and India, as well as others from Denmark, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Kenya.

“The Destination Project has been an experience of a lifetime,” says Vice-President, Architecture for Stantec, Michael Moxam. “The Integrated Design Process that brought all the University stakeholders and our incredible design team together has resulted in a vision for the Science and Academic Building that will break new ground in transdisciplinary education and research in science, in environmental sustainability, and in campus building. The iconic landscape that so inspired Arthur Erickson in the design of University Hall has equally inspired us and this will be clearly evident in the experience of the building.”

A look at construction progress on the Science and Academic Building, April 2018.

Bruce Kuwabara, JV Partner/Co-Project Director at KPMB, says a truly cooperative approach was key to the design of the project.

“This recognition is a testament to deep collaboration between the University of Lethbridge and our team,” says Kuwabara. “The architecture builds on the past to shape the future: it is inspired by the deep geographical past of the majestic coulee landscape and Canada’s legacy of modernist architecture embodied in Arthur Erickson’s University Hall.”

Once completed, the Science and Academic Building will be one of the most advanced facilities for teaching and researching the sciences in the country. Sustainably designed with local climate in mind, students, faculty and community will come together for innovation and discovery. Its open and flexible laboratory environment will encourage and foster research between the sciences, creating opportunities for transdisciplinary collaborations. Ideas will flourish and give students and faculty innovative ways to problem solve with more resources available than ever before.

Brian Sullivan, Destination Project program director, says construction on the Science and Academic Building will be completed in Spring 2019 with its first intake of students in the 2019 Fall Semester.

“Construction is progressing very well with interior fit outs and landscaping well underway,” says Sullivan. “It’s always exciting to see the end of a project approaching and we look forward to opening the doors and realizing its completion.”

The World Architecture Festival is dedicated to celebrating, sharing and inspiring outstanding architecture. It is the only architecture event where keynote talks from the industry’s most influential figures sit alongside live judging presentations from over 500 award finalists plus global networking and an international product exhibition. Held in Amsterdam this year, the WAF awards sit at the heart of the festival, the only global awards program where architects present their completed buildings and future projects live to a panel of internationally renowned judges and delegates from around the world.

For more information, check out the World Architecture Festival and the Education – Future Project category.