Carleton University Magazine

A New Addition to the Campus Map

Carleton’s newest—and greenest— building overlooks the canal

The distinctive lines and riverside location of the Canadian War Museum make it one of Ottawa’s most exciting architectural attractions. Now the stylized bunker on the riverbank has a canal-side sibling at Carleton University.

That’s because the same architectural firms that teamed up for the museum project are behind two new buildings on campus, one of them nudging close to Hartwell Locks on the Rideau Canal.

The six-storey, 100,000-square-foot Canal Building will house a new Master of Applied Science in Biomedical Engineering as well as aerospace and sustainable engineering programs.

The firms Moriyama and Teshima Architects and GRC Architects developed plans for the building, which extends northwest from the Mackenzie Building, squaring the incomplete quad formed by Mackenzie, the Unicentre and Architecture buildings.

Its most distinctive architectural feature is a sawtoothed facade of glass and aluminum that faces west overlooking Library Road. The alternating panes of glass and metal are designed to control radiant heat from the high afternoon sun while accentuating views of the nearby canal.

It’s also one of several design features that make the Canal Building the greenest structure on campus, with a sustainability ranking of five—the highest—under the Green Globe system.

Some of those sustainable features are a green roof with trays of sedum planted in some areas, solar panels that produce up to 10 kilowatts of power, high-efficiency heating and electrical systems and lots of recycled materials, such as glass in the concrete block.

Many who worked on the project have ties to the university as well. Alex Rankin of GRC Architects was an adjunct professor at the architecture school. His colleagues Alex Leung, BArch/89; Jason Moriyama, BID/84; Ajon Moriyama, BArch/89; and Neil Johnston, BEng/03, were also part of the team.

Another project, the River Building, will open later this year. The 140,000-square-foot building will be the new home of the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, the School of Journalism and Communication and the School of Public Policy and Administration.

Written by Rob Thomas ( BA/99 | MJ/06 )
Photos by Brent Gervais

This story was published in the Winter 2011 issue. Bookmark the permalink or share the following short URL for this article via social media:

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