fb pixel

Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex

Urban Presence

The University of Winnipeg Science Complex and Richardson College for the Environment officially opened to students in the fall of 2011 and is slated to be one of the most energy efficient research laboratories in North America.

The building gives the University a significant new presence on Portage Avenue, Winnipeg’s most prominent street. A prominent entry plaza is highlighted by indigenous planting and areas for public gathering. The site is well serviced by public transit on Portage Avenue and includes bike storage and change facilities to encourage active transportation. The building is set back slightly from the sidewalk in order to incorporate a foreground of native prairie grasses.

Along the southerly Portage Avenue elevation, a full height glass façade expresses the facilities’ scientific purpose. A ceramic “frit” coating applied to the glass displays portions of the Periodic Table of Elements expressing the basic building blocks of our natural world that are the common thread in that unifies Chemistry, Biology and the Environmental Sciences. This glass enclosed portion of the building presents a distinctive and playful public face to the city and provides plentiful natural light into the offices, classrooms and public spaces in the building.

The interior atrium is a fully daylit space that functions as an active collaborative environment for both students and faculty from Chemistry, Biology and Environmental Studies.

The main north wall of the dramatic atrium space is finished with reclaimed hard wood from the century old Winnipeg Roller Skating Rink which was demolished to make way for the new Science Complex. This intricate design incorporates acoustic insulation behind the angled panels and a pattern of colour inspired by Genetic Bar Codes.

The facility has a total gross area of just under 150,000 square feet with a footprint of 34,700 square feet. The building stands three storeys above grade with one level below grade. An angular, central atrium starts in the lower level and projects up above the roof allowing natural daylight into the core of the building through clerestory windows and large skylights. The Atrium also features a tree grove and serves many purposes such as public gathering area and student study space providing interconnected views to research labs and faculty offices.

To read more about our state-of-the-art Facilities at the Richardson College for the Environment and Science Complex, click the links below.