The new Social Sciences Building at the University of Ottawa serves as a gateway from the city and emphasizes connectivity with the campus. The building creates a landmark on a prominent site with a design response that addresses the challenge of its dense urban site.
A stepped massing scheme effectively distributes the required program across the triangular site. A fully glazed prow tapers to a ‘flatiron’ to make a virtue of the site constraints. A large cantilever creates a canopy over the main entrance, adding additional program without extending the building footprint into a future pedestrian plaza.
The project includes renovating and connecting to the adjacent Vanier Hall. With nine faculty departments and 10,000 students, the Social Sciences Building provides sizeable circulation and public amenity space. Central to this configuration are two atria; one contains the largest biofilter living wall in North America.