University of Windsor Welcome Centre
What makes it interesting?
The building will be a beacon within the landscape and form a lively backdrop for campus activities, inviting a feeling of openness, giving visitors 360-degree views of the surrounding campus. The iconic facade of the upper story provides opportunity for large-scale exterior digital projection, gathering the university community to celebrate key milestones, Orientation Week, Lancer victories, team spirit and campus entertainment.
How HCSS Software assisted with this project
HeavyBid provided the bidding infrastructure to quickly make changes on a design-build project. There were numerous design changes in this intricate design, and as these changes were contemplated by the client, Amico had to continually provide updated pricing. HeavyBid allowed Amico to do this in an efficient manner. Quick responsiveness allowed Amico to become the preferred proponent and be awarded the project.
This design-build project includes the new construction of an 18,000-square-foot, two-story Welcome Centre set to become the new address for the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
An iconic gateway building, the Welcome Centre will house the offices for student admissions and recruitment, advancement, and alumni affairs, and a retail space selling university merchandise. This unique and exciting building will create a focal point that activates the campus, encouraging connections between the school, its history, and the surrounding community. Amico has teamed up with award winning Toronto-based Hariri Pontarini Architects, who will be supported by local firmArchitecttura Inc. Architects to form an experienced, dedicated, and passionate design-build team.
Located at the southern edge of the campus at the corner of Wyandotte Street and Patricia Avenue — an area heavy in traffic of all kinds — the Welcome Centre has been designed as a dynamic pavilion: fluid, daring, inviting, and embracing. Visible from every angle and accessible from multiple campus routes, a light and gently arcing ribbon of milky glass weaves its way around the site, connecting old to new, tradition to innovation, city to campus, edge to nucleus, student to alumni.
Elevated above an animated base of activity, the upper level is playful, contrasting its curvature against the rectilinear programs below. The exterior glass facade is stippled with a gradient white frit pattern allowing transparency for the upper office windows while shifting to restrained opacity at the spandrel portions, thus providing varying degrees of visibility, creating extended views out to the campus, and bathing the space in natural light. Scaled below the ribbon, the ground floor acts as a large welcome threshold, gathering animated activities and programs expressed as transparent spaces which are framed by robust masonry walls and piers.
At the corner intersection, the entrance canopy ushers students, alumni, and visitors directly into a seductive, light-filled lobby which stretches in every direction, collecting the program spaces around it like addresses on an avenue, and opening immediately to the significant green spaces to the east and north. This central hive “Windsor Hall” collects and connects the community of the university around it, and immediately orients the experience of the visitor. Once inside Windsor Hall, each department is clearly visible and accessible, providing intuitive and direct wayfinding. This is the new face of the University of Windsor: international in its ambition, the gateway for opportunity and innovation.