The catalyst for this project was the need to seismically upgrade the building for life and safety. Upgrades in addition to the seismic improvements to the building structure included a refreshed lecture theatre, new AV systems, accessibility improvements, renovations to the lobby area including all washrooms, and a new fire alarm system.
Hebb’s theatre space was reimagined in collaboration with the Physics and Astronomy department. The goal was to revitalize the room and implement features for current and future pedagogical needs. One feature being the integrated winch motors in the ceiling which are a one-of-a-kind feature that enables a pendulum to be lowered for class demonstrations. The side walls also feature the symbol for static charge, a fundamental principle in physics that instructors can make a connection to during class.
Supports collaboration: Table and bench seating encourages students to communicate with each other, and allows for natural formation of groups.
Easy access and movement in space: Multiple aisles placed in the theatre provides easier access to seats for students and allow for instructors to communicate with students more conveniently.
Technology designed to support Physics and Astronomy department: Two HD cameras and three projectors display content and experiments on the theatre presentation displays. Instructors have the option of using the multiple screens for displaying dual content sources or using the single large centre screen to display one source. Speakers are ceiling-mounted and a built-in media capture unit is available for use.
Strategic use of colour and lighting: Wood paneling on the walls bring warmth into the space. Lighting controls from the touchscreen control panel feature several lighting presets, including one that can turn the room pitch black for experiments that require it.
Sustainable building practices: The original wood seating has been retained with future plans to refurbish the seating rather than replacing with a new set.
Accessibility considerations: There are multiple points of access into the theatre and several options for accessible seating within the theatre space.
Informal space in building: A lounge and a bench-styled informal space is right outside the theatre. It features a large glass writing wall lit up with colour-changing LEDs and one digital display equipped with wireless presentation.
Project duration: May 2015 to October 2015