Peter George Centre for Living and Learning

“The Peter George Centre for Living and Learning not only benefits current and future McMaster students, it also aligns with the university’s mission statement by contributing to the greater good of the City of Hamilton.”

Globe and Mail – David McPherson

The Peter George Centre for Living and Learning (PGCLL) is a true hybrid building. The integrated and accessible design reflects McMaster University’s intention to create a space where all levels of the academic community can cross paths during their time on campus. PGCLL consolidates residence, academic, childcare, food and student services into one building while infusing the programming with teaching and learning innovation.

The building design plays with two forms: the linear atrium and residences; and the egg-shaped auditoria nestled in the middle. Stacking the 650-seat, 500-seat auditoria, and 400-seat active learning classroom allowed the design team to shape the profile of each lecture hall in a curvilinear way that allows students to animate the edges of the atrium and lecture halls.

The four-storey atrium, with a continuous skylight, has generous space for socializing and studying. Connecting the 650-seat auditorium on the lower level up to the health services, the helical stair is inviting to use and provides views across the atrium.

The 550-bed residence is anchored with social spaces and natural daylight with study lounges and kitchens on each floor. Glass separates the study hall and kitchen lounge from the corridor, providing views into the spaces and views outside. The study lounges face north, providing quiet views to Cootes Paradise, a natural wetland and nature reserve. The kitchen lounges face south, connecting the social activity within with the University campus.

The LEED Silver certified project includes optimized energy performance, low VOC materials, individual lighting and thermal controls, and water reduction measures throughout.

Client McMaster University
Completion 2020
Sustainability LEED Silver Certified


Photography and video doublespace photography


Team See full project team
Steven Bondar
Debi Brennen
Liviu Budur
Alexa Carroll
Ashley Fava
Mehdi Ghiyaei
Valerie Gomez
Laura Kular
Nelson Lai
Michael Leckman
Beatriz Leon
Sarah Mercer
Jeffrey Mitchell
Mitch Popa
Thom Pratt
Antra Roze
Donald Schmitt
Nazig Seropian
Nigel Tai
Houng Te
Jose Trinidad
Gary Watson
Russell Wooten
Liuyi (Louis) Yan