As part of their 50th anniversary celebration, Centennial College has officially inaugurated the new Culinary Arts Centre at their Progress Campus near Markham Road and Highway 401 in eastern Toronto. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects, the project encompasses an 8-storey hybrid building housing both the aforementioned academic institution as well as a new student residence named Centennial Place.

Centennial College's Culinary Arts Centre, image by Craig White

The building was unveiled to the public last week at an event celebrating Centennial College's 50-year trajectory as the first publicly funded college in Ontario. Throughout a total of 353,500 sq.ft., the Culinary Arts Centre features open learning spaces on the ground floor, including five kitchen labs, eight classrooms, a teaching restaurant and café. On the top floor, a conference space and banquet centre with capacity for up to 425 guests will be served by the kitchen labs throughout the building.

Collaborative kitchen spaces at the new Culinary Arts Centre, image courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects

Centennial Place, the 740-bed section of the building housing the student residence, provides students with an integrated and collaborative academic environment that allow students to fully immerse themselves in the learning experience at Centennial College. Along with two and four-bedroom units on six floors of the building, each floor provides collaborative amenity spaces such as a theatre, a gym, an arcade, a game room, and study rooms in addition to communal kitchen and living spaces. 

According to Donald Schmitt, Principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects, combining academic and residence programs with collaborative working and learning spaces allows Centennial College "to serve different communities in a seamless fashion and to provide a professional learning and work environment for students of the culinary arts, some of whom may live in the same building.” 

Conference space in the building's top floor, image by Craig White

With the intention of bringing innovative technologies to the hospitality industry, Diamond Schmitt Architects strove to achieve LEED Silver certification with features such as a green roof, high-efficiency glazing and walls, and water-saving technologies. The complex also houses an open courtyard on the ground floor, increasing the green space of the building and providing students with additional leisure spaces.

Courtyard at the Culinary Arts Centre, image courtesy of Diamond Schmitt Architects

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What do you think of Centennial College's new building? Are you a student here? How does this design improve your academic experience? You can join in on the conversation in our associated Forum thread, or leave your comments in the space provided on this page.