Edward Science Building
John Abbott College is an English speaking college in Montreal's West Island that offers a full range of pre-university and professional programs. It was established in 1971 on the Macdonald College campus of McGill University. In recent years John Abbott was experiencing a problem with overcrowding, and the Edward Science Building was the answer.
Constructed to house the Science and Health Technologies departments, this modern edifice is a tribute to alumna Anne-Marie Edward , a chemical engineering student who was gunned down at age 21 in the Polytechnique Massacre of December 6, 1989 .
Anne-Marie was a friend of mine for an all too brief time. I had already left John Abbott by the time that she had found our gamers guild, but I met her when I visited. I remember her as a pretty, cheerful girl who loved the outdoors. She was a little quiet despite being the outgoing type, but she was the kind of person whom everyone loved. Her smile could light up a room.
Not long after her death, a mutual friend told me a story of how even wild animals loved Anne-Marie. This other girl had watched for what seemed forever, as a little bird came right up to Anne-Marie and let her pick him up in her hands. She had always been a gentle soul, at one with nature.
And so I am sure she would be pleased that the building named after her is a green building, designed to be a showcase for the principles of sustainability . The state-of-the-art building had to be fitted into a landscape dominated by building that date back to the 19th and early 20th century.
Architectural firm Saucier + Perrotte rose to the challenge, creating a contemporary building with lots of light and open spaces. The facade of the building on a sunny day reflects both the red brick and Spanish tiles of the other buildings on campus. In some of the photos I've seen, the exterior looks almost as if it had been painted with a blue sky and fluffy clouds. Where I had expected such a modern building to clash with the rest of the campus it really looks great – as you can see in the photo above!
Aiming for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold certification, the building makes maximal use of both natural lighting and natural air circulation. It also uses geothermal energy to provide for the heating and cooling needs of its occupants. And unlike so many large buildings today, the windows can be opened so the air doesn't become stale from being continuously recirculated.
Anne-Marie's mother and father were at the naming of the building, and were interviewed by the local press. Her mother reminded us that Anne-Marie's initials are A-M-E. In her mother tongue, French, the word âme means “soul.” Suzanne Laplante Edward says her daughter will be like a guardian angel for this building , where young people will come together to explore the sciences and to learn to care for the minds and bodies of their fellow man
If you would like to see the official photos of this impressive site – complete with its exterior courtyard and ginkgo tree, and the interior “garden” that is the atrium and the “tree” of the grand staircase – you can see the details at ArchDaily and Architizer . There is also a video that can be seen on John Abbott's YouTube channel .
This is my Design entry for Dawnwriter 's A-W CategoryChallenge
Image Credit » http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:John_Abbott_College_008.jpg