A balanced student schedule might be made up of one part classes, one part studying, and one part socialization or informal learning. The Okanagan University Centre was conceived as a place for students to spend some of their free time, giving them a break from academic pursuits to relax with friends outside of the classroom environment.
More than 1,000 students frequent the building every day and well into the night, seeking advice on health issues, career paths, and course registration, or simply meeting friends. The centre accommodates these needs by providing facilities for the union and campus administration offices, aboriginal center, multi-purpose ballroom, bookstore, pub, and dining facility with seating for 400 that serves meals until midnight daily.
We worked, in association with Meiklejohn Architects, through the design to integrate all of these activities into a cohesive whole, both functionally and architecturally, while still recognizing the specific needs and identities of the different program elements.