Toronto-based design firm CS&P Architects will design a flagship humanities and social sciences facility for McMaster University, the first new facility built for these faculties at the university in many decades. The five-storey building, currently called L. R. Wilson Hall, will cover over 150,000 square feet and incorporate new ‘active’ learning classrooms while providing a host of formal and informal learning/ studying environments for the faculties’ undergraduate and graduate student body. Construction is slated to start this summer and is expected to be complete by September 2015.
Included in the building’s program mix will be a new 350-seat Concert Hall, 150-seat multi-purpose Black Box Theatre and 400-seat tiered Lecture Theatre. The building will also engage the community through its proposed Research Centres and Institutes; The Wilson Institute for Canadian History, Gilbrea Centre for Health and Aging, Pathway Institute and the Indigenous Studies Program. The site is bordered by a buffer of mature tree line along Forsyth Avenue and Sterling Street and the preservation of these reinforcing landscape features will be an important design consideration.
“We’re proud to be retained on such a significant project — one which offers the potential to strengthen the relationship between the university and the surrounding community while bringing together the humanities and social sciences faculties in such a collaborative environment,” says CS&P’s senior principal and director of design, Paul Cravit.