The new Welcome Centre at Laurentian University completes a multi-year campus modernization project designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects. Seven buildings were revitalized and new connections added between them in a $63-million renewal of the mid-20th century campus in Sudbury, Ontario.
The Welcome Centre is located in what was originally an open-air breezeway that separated the Parker Building and Dining hall. Subsequent additions enclosed the space, which has now been re-opened to create a three-storey atrium beneath a raised roof with clerestory glazing that fills the space with natural light.
Adjacent to the Welcome Centre entrance is the newly constructed Indigenous Sharing and Learning Centre. Its unique round-room gathering space signifies an important and visible presence of Indigenous peoples at the University. Other elements of the modernization include a new Executive Learning Centre, a University Club, renovations to 60 classrooms and laboratories, a completely updated marché in the dining hall and a revitalized Alphonse Raymond Building in which curtain wall glazing replaced existing concrete walls to create a light-filled, animated space for student gathering. In all, the modernization program encompasses 23,000 square meters (approx. 250,000 sq ft) of classroom, research, study and public space.