King’s launches process to identify design consultants for Southeast Corner Project

King’s launches process to identify design consultants for Southeast Corner Project

The procurement process has launched to select the architect and design team for one of the most significant developments to the University of King’s College campus since the construction of the buildings Andrew Cobb designed for the College when it relocated from Windsor, N.S., to Halifax nearly 100 years ago. Through the Southeast Corner (SEC) Project, that corner of campus where the gymnasium stands will be fully redeveloped to host a state-of-the-art, multi-use facility. The new building will include a replacement for the now-outdated gymnasium and add a wellness centre below grade. It will provide a new, street-level home for the School of Journalism, Writing & Publishing. The new building will also include student supports space and space to accommodate up to 287 more students on campus—more than doubling the current residence capacity. Elegantly addressing this complex set of requirements, the successful design will stand as a 21st century complement to Cobb’s iconic buildings.

With the publication of the Request for Qualifications the first phase of a two-phase procurement process begins, which King’s hopes will attract a diverse and exceptional pool of architects and designers. From these, the committee will select a shortlist of up to three qualified architect and design teams, expected to be announced later this winter, who will then be asked to respond to a Request for Proposals (RFP). One team will be awarded the contract for design services for the complete project. Dalhousie University’s public procurement department is supporting the procurement process but will not participate in the evaluation committee.

University President William Lahey says the Southeast Corner Project will act as “a bridge” connecting the longstanding King’s traditions of living in community, and academic and athletic excellence with the values shaping King’s identity through the 21st century and beyond, including its close association with Dalhousie University.

“This project will balance state-of-the-art educational and athletic spaces that are accessible and welcoming, with living areas that students, including those who want to live on campus with partners or children, can comfortably call home. It will meet LEED Gold certification to better serve the environment and those who will live and work there each day. It will act as a vibrant hub for the King’s community—housing a new gym, wellness centre and community supports centre—and live in conversation with the beautiful buildings around it and with the influences of the Mi’kmaq and the African Nova Scotian communities and of all the communities around us. It’s a project that frankly represents an exceptional opportunity to enrich one of the most beautiful university campuses in Canada.”

The successful architect and design team will demonstrate:

  • design expertise in the successful creation of architecture that supports and cultivates community by gathering diverse people together into shared spaces of learning and living that nurture individual growth and creativity;
  • design expertise in the successful development of innovative academic spaces for higher education settings that prioritize effective learning as well as the comfort of the students and faculty;
  • design expertise in the successful creation of architecture for high density multipurpose living arrangements that support vibrant communal living;
  • design expertise in the successful creation of modern buildings that live in harmony within a beautiful and treasured historical architectural context.

The project’s planning phases have been accelerated by a $1M gift, first announced in September, from the Alpha Aquilae Foundation, the family foundation of King’s Chancellor Debra Deane Little and her husband Bob Little.

The successful architect and design team will be announced later this winter.

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