Red River College Elgin Ave Study
Structural Engineer: Crosier Kilgour & Partners Ltd.
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Epp Siepman Engineering Inc.
Civil Engineer: Sison Blackburn Consulting Inc.
Quantity Surveyor: Altus Group
Cibinel Architecture Ltd was engaged by Red River College to develop a program and schematic design to move the Red River College Language Training Centre, International Education, and Business Innovation Technology programs into a 75,000 sq. ft. development at 319/325 Elgin Street adjacent to the existing RRC Roblin Centre Exchange District Campus. The development of this site was to place an emphasis on bringing life to Elgin Avenue.
The design reuses the existing heritage building at 319 Elgin Avenue, while the building at 325 Elgin Avenue is demolished to make way for new development. A new indoor/outdoor public space on the south side of the building, dubbed the ‘vertical plaza’, connects the exterior pedestrian space on the street with interior meeting spaces throughout all floors of the building and brings the vibrancy of student activity to the street level. Utilization of the 319 Elgin Ave rooftop creates an elevated and semi-public urban plaza that provides additional study, lounge or event space. The new building design expresses the raw structural components used in the construction of the building such as heavy timber, steel, concrete and masonry, reflecting the industrial character of the warehouse district and the existing campus.
The following guiding principles inform the key concepts of our design.
1. Campus Character – The proposed structure fits the character of the warehouse district in a similar manner to the existing Roblin Centre Campus. The design creates spaces for impromptu interaction and contributes to urban life, creating safe outdoor green areas through visually connected spaces and an activated streetscape.
2. Teaching and Learning Spaces – The building contains a variety of classrooms, breakout spaces, meeting rooms, and computer labs on each floor. Informal gathering space is developed on the building’s sunny side within a wide circulation corridor, providing students with un-programed ‘collision’ space for interaction and socialization. The design delivers visual connectivity between the exterior pedestrian development, interior social spaces and the exterior roof-top development.
3. Flexibility – The ability of campus buildings to adapt to changing teaching programs over time as well as the growth in the number of students must be considered in the design of the structure and in the selection of materials and systems.
4. Efficient Vertical Movement – Ease of movement during class change is a priority in the design of a teaching building. In this vertical teaching building, three elevators and the highly visible glazed stairway supports movement of 1200 students throughout the building.
5. Multicultural Awareness – The project must address multiculturalism by accommodating various cultural practices including smudging and other ceremonies for individuals and groups.
6. Safety and Security – The urban campus employs strategies that provide pedestrian priority, traffic calming, and a high level of connectivity between the Roblin Centre and the new building. Live security presence paired with alarms, intercoms, cameras and hardware support the College’s safety procedures. Transparency at fire stairs further promotes safety and security and encourages the use of stairs for vertical circulation.
7. Sustainability – The facility will meet the Green Building Policy for Government of Manitoba funded projects, Manitoba Hydro Power Smart, the National Energy Code, and a minimum LEED Silver Certification. This is achieved through; building re-use, use of green and durable building products, solar harvesting, energy use reduction, and improving occupant health.