Centennial College has announced plans for the next expansion of their Progress Campus near Markham Road and the 401 in Scarborough. The project—designed by DIALOG Architects and Smoke Architecture, with EllisDon overseeing construction—will bring over 150,000 ft² of new and renovated space to the campus to help meet the projected growth in student enrolment.

A rendering showing A-block's new addition, image courtesy of DIALOG Architects

The six-storey addition to the existing A-block building will be composed of a mixture of academic and common spaces.

The building’s design takes inspiration from the themes of truth and reconciliation, incorporating both western and indigenous perspectives into its design and programming in a process referred to as “two-eyed seeing.” Smoke Architecture, an Anishinaabeg owned and operated firm which focuses on indigenous projects, was brought on as a partner in order to ensure that the focus on indigeneity went beyond the surface.

According to Eladia Smoke, Principal of Smoke Architecture, “This design is rooted in Indigenous principles, evoked in a contemporary setting.”

A grand staircase, part of the "wisdom hall," image courtesy of DIALOG Architects

The new building will be entered from the east, echoing traditional indigenous architecture. Its programming will be anchored by an Indigenous Commons. Inside, exposed wood will be used extensively; on the exterior, aluminum shingles will evoke fish scales.

A rendering of the new Indigenous Commons, image courtesy of DIALOG Architects

An exterior view showing the "fish scale" aluminum shingles, image courtesy of DIALOG Architects

Indigenous values also inspired an emphasis on sustainability, which is reflected in the structure itself. The addition will be mass-timber construction, helping it to achieve Zero-Carbon and LEED Gold certifications. This has the potential to be a first for a post-secondary institution in Canada; mass-timber buildings are planned at the University of Toronto and George Brown College, but both are several years from completion.

Interior renovation work will begin in June, 2020, with full site construction commencing in the Fall. Construction should be completed by Fall, 2022, with occupancy slated for January, 2023.

A bird's eye view of the new buildings, image courtesy of DIALOG Architects

Additional information and images can be found in our Database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment below.

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Related Companies:  EllisDon, MHBC Planning, RJC Engineers