University of Waterloo
School of Architecture
It stands to reason that an internationally respected architecture school should be housed in a special building. So when the University of Waterloo was seeking a new permanent home in which to educate some of the best architects in the world, it looked to Galt, a city rich in wonderfully designed, lovingly built historic structures.
The Riverside Silk Mill had graced the banks of the Grand River for almost a century, having been built in 1919 by the McCormick brothers. Surrounded by parkland, many other heritage buildings, and the gently rolling river, it’s the perfect setting for a school that highlights green architecture as well as prototyping, visualization, and computer assisted design. Now, the school’s design studios, labs, exhibition galleries, and classrooms have found the perfect home there.
Open, bright, and spacious, the school is much more than an inspiring learning environment for its 400 students. Each year, some 200,000 people visit the building to attend exhibitions, watch films, and dine in the café. It is a community-centered and creative space designed to play a key role in an ongoing and essential development project: the continued revitalization of Downtown Galt.
Nestled among theatres, innovative design spaces, event venues, and artists’ lofts, the School of Architecture is part of a richly reinvented community. It’s an area that fosters the burgeoning of innovative thinking – all of it centred along the river. And, just as the Grand flows to the Great Lakes and on to the sea, people and ideas flow to the Grand.