The Student Life Centre: A Hallmark for the Evolution of Saint-Paul University

The Student Life Centre is a reflection of Saint-Paul University’s commitment to its student body, core values, and evolution within the post-secondary marketplace.

The future of Saint-Paul University is changing; as such, the campus is going through a multi-phase redevelopment. The flagship component of the redevelopment is the Student Life Centre. It creates a new heart for the Saint-Paul campus, where collaboration spaces, exhibit spaces, an outdoor enclosed garden and food services provide the students and staff with a vibrant commons not typically seen within a campus of this small scale. Furniture and systems were selected to maximize flexibility of the space to support the varied needs of students and staff.

The ground floor, previously a disjointed and uninviting array of small rooms, now opens itself to the courtyard, which in turn will be outfitted with a new patio for use in the warmer seasons. A new geometric canopy gives definition to the Centre from the courtyard, while providing both shelter and softening the midday sun inside.

A bistro-inspired café with counter service elevates the food offerings for the campus to a new level, and flexible seating can be used for eating, studying, meeting or celebrating in the sun-filled lounge which looks upon the redeveloped courtyard.

The former cafeteria is now reinvented as a multipurpose space which will be used to host gallery exhibitions and group functions. Flexibility is provided by adjustable lighting, recessed data projectors and screens, and layered window coverings which allow the room to be darkened or blacked out to suit the time of day and use of the space.

The upgrades were designed to establish a new image for the University, for use in their marketing campaign to attract both Canadian and foreign students in the hope of increasing their enrollment.

While the project did not pursue a LEED® designation, it involved significant energy upgrades, and demolition waste and salvage removals were closely scrutinized to minimize landfill waste. Construction materials and finish selections are low-VOC and have high recycled content. 

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