Le Corbusier said Creation is a Patient Search, but sometimes people are in a hurry. The Zeidler Partnership had to crank out an Electronic Learning Centre and 10 classrooms is a couple of months for Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, and fast-track its construction to be completed in time for the start of the next school year. They appear to have pulled it off, and even grew a nice green living wall by deadline.
The building has radiant floors tied into a central energy plant, an enthalpy wheel to recover heat and moisture from exhausted air, a green roof, storm water harvesting, and a two storey high living wall. According to World Architecture News,
The three-level building houses the new Cummings Library, an applied research and innovation lab and 10 multi-purpose classrooms wired with the latest multimedia and internet technologies in approximately 43,000 sq ft designed to LEED Gold standard. Not your traditional library, the ground floor provides access to a digital library that comprises 2/3 of the total library collection. Called the 'collaboratory', the second floor allows students access to the latest in information, computing and communication technology facilitating interaction between students and staff.
Thirty years ago, Zeidler renovated a huge old storage warehouse on the Toronto waterfront; the columns all had giant mushroom caps on the columns that he turned into an architectural feature. Now exposed ceilings, ducts and giant mushroom caps are back, permitting higher ceilings for deeper penetration of natural light, and eliminating dust-catching plenums.
Nice work that breaks the old rule that you can only have two of the three attributes: fast, cheap and good. More at Zeidler Partnership
More on Zeidlers:
Margie Zeidler: Building Green Incubators
New Uses For Old Malls: Urban Farms : TreeHugger
The Power of the Compact Fluorescent : TreeHugger