A popular student hub at Niagara College is now an internationally award-winning space.
On October 23, the Welland Campus Student Commons – designed by Toronto-based architecture and interior design studio, Gow Hastings Architects – was announced as the Public Space Design winner in the prestigious Society of British and International Interior Design (SBID) International Design Awards 2020.
“This international achievement recognizes Gow Hastings and Niagara College as leaders in putting students first. The Welland Student Commons is a welcoming, accessible hub for students to cultivate community and create memorable on-campus experiences,” said Philip Hastings of Gow Hastings, who was the partner in charge of the Welland Campus Student Commons project. “We couldn’t be happier that our international peers have honoured a project that represents the importance, and possibilities, of student-centred design.”
The Student Commons was part of a $15-million addition and renovation to the Welland Campus Simcoe building, and the College’s $64-million campus redevelopment project that provided new and expanded facilities at the Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses. College staff and students worked closely with Gow Hastings to create a modern, expanded space for students to eat, socialize and collaborate, and it became an instant hit on campus when it opened in September 2018.
“We applaud Gow Hastings on this prestigious award for a project that not only achieves design excellence but has been transformational for our Welland Campus,” said Pam Skinner, NC’s senior vice president, College Operations. “We are thrilled about how this state-of-the-art, student-centred space not only beautifies our campus, but enhances the student experience, and has been embraced by our College community and beyond. It is truly a testament to our commitment to student success.”
The 35,000-square-foot space includes a cafeteria, retail space, activity room, welcome centre and open spaces for learning and study, with hotel-style amenities such as super-scaled LED monitors and a gas fireplace. The addition also provides the College with an alternative entrance.