Track 3: DELIVERY – INTERVENING INTO HISTORIC PLACES / Volet 3 : Réalisation – Intervenir dans les lieux historiques

‘GoMo’: A Contemporary Response to Collegiate Gothic

Friday, October 13
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

The College Avenue Campus in Regina is an exceptionally intact and highly refined collection of Gothic Collegiate buildings dating from the 1910s to 1920s. The buildings were originally built as a Methodist College, and later served as the original campus for the University of Regina. Until 2016, the buildings housed Centre for Continuing Education, the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School, and the Conservatory of Performing Arts, as well as Darke Hall, a 1929 music and theatrical concert hall. The buildings are located within the Wascana Centre Authority, known as the green heart of Regina, in a spectacular setting originally designed by renowned landscape architect Thomas H. Mawson.

Over time, the campus became derelict through deferred maintenance. Some building components were in danger of imminent structural collapse and were barricaded, electrical and mechanical systems were in dangerous condition, and no part of the complex was barrier-free. The situation was critical, and could no longer be maintained through piecemeal repair. The University, although struggling with austerity measures and many competing priorities, made a heroic decision to revitalize its beloved historic campus rather than close it down. This is one of the largest heritage rehabilitation projects ever undertaken in Saskatchewan.

P3A (P3Architecture Partnership), in collaboration with Donald Luxton & Associates, were retained by the University of Regina to restore, rehabilitate and add to the College Avenue Campus. This project is currently under construction, and is due for completion in 2018. Information on the approved design is available on the University’s website, including a video that shows the appearance of the project.

The project has involved many and complex challenges, including a very demanding program and a fast-track timeframe. The design had to respond to not just the historic architecture of the buildings but also the entire context of Wascana Park, and involved overlapping jurisdictions of the Province of Saskatchewan, the Wascana Centre Authority and the City of Regina.

The design team adhered rigorously to the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. Nicknamed ‘GoMo” – Gothic Modern” – the vocabulary of the additions provides a sensitive and intriguing approach to embracing the challenge of Standard 11 to provide contemporary additions that are compatible, distinguishable and subordinate. This thoughtful design exploration involved a thorough analysis of the existing buildings, including horizontal and vertical proportions, solid-to-void relationships, materials and assemblies. The design response was calibrated to respond sensitively to every aspect of the historic architecture, propelling the resolution beyond historical mimicry to a new level of respect.

The final project provides many lessons in the application of the Standards and Guidelines to achieve superior design outcomes.

Learning Objectives:

Donald B. Luxton, FRAIC CAHP

Donald Luxton & Associates

Donald Luxton is the principal of a leading western Canadian heritage and cultural resource management firm, and a well-known consultant, advocate, educator and author who for more than three decades has worked on numerous projects throughout western Canada. His expertise, interest and accomplishments have been acknowledged through numerous awards, including the Heritage Canada Achievement Award in 2003 and a number of literary prizes including a BC Book Prize in 2004. In 2007 was elected to the College of Fellows of Architecture Canada. From 2014-17 he was the lead consultant on the City of Vancouver Heritage Action Plan.


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‘GoMo’: A Contemporary Response to Collegiate Gothic

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