Sending the Right Message from the Start
George Brown College Student Association / Student Association Hubs
George Brown College Student Association
A student association centre on a campus is often a first stop for newcomers to a college or university. It’s a place where new students can find answers to their questions, meet new people, and access a variety of services. For the George Brown College Student Association, their existing space felt more like a bank branch than a warm and welcoming place to socialize and collaborate.
In 2020, Architecture Counsel was engaged to inject new spirit into the Student Association spaces at George Brown College campuses. Having previously worked with the same group on another project, we knew the school’s culture and student-focused mindset. We worked with the student association and George Brown College to design co-working hubs – spaces resembling the lobby of a boutique hotel, or a tech-type shared workspace, where students would immediately feel welcome. Modern, attractive, and flexible, these areas were designed to provide essential services, offer support, display art, and market events.
George Brown College is one of the most culturally diverse campuses in Toronto and these hubs provide ideal settings to build connections and a sense of community, network, and interact. The Student Association embraced ACi’s idea of creating places for chance encounters (collision spaces). Collision spaces are where people, who wouldn’t typically cross paths because their routines or disciplines don’t normally intersect, can meet, network, study, have lunch, or merely take a break from their hectic schedule.
Bright, barrier-free, sustainable materials, accessible space, and wayfinding were critical parts of the design. These additions were meant to encourage mingling between students, the student association staff, and the broader George Brown College community.