Seneca College has embarked on an exciting collaboration with DIALOG and Two Row Architect to create a groundbreaking design for the Seneca College Health & Wellness Center. This ambitious project aims to replace the aging sports center on the Newnham Campus, providing a state-of-the-art facility that caters to the well-being of the university's student body of over 30,000. The envisioned center will not only embrace the concept of an "architecture of healing" but also embody environmental responsibility and celebrate Indigenous and settler traditions.
The Seneca College Health & Wellness Center aspires to be a comprehensive hub for student well-being, encompassing physical, psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions. The design draws inspiration from the drum circle, symbolizing harmony, unity, and completeness. This symbolic representation aligns with the goal of creating a therapeutic space that reflects diverse worldviews and philosophies.
The collaborative design by DIALOG and Two Row Architect incorporates numerous eco-friendly elements. These include:
- A green roofing system
- Solar panels
- Geothermal heating and cooling
- The use of sustainable construction materials such as mass wood
With a focus on achieving a carbon footprint of zero, the center embraces sustainable practices that align with Seneca College's commitment to environmental stewardship.
The circular shape of the Health & Wellness Center's design pays homage to the drum circle, representing balance, equality, wholeness, and connection. Positioned at the center of the complex, the drum circle symbolizes positive energy and brings a natural rhythm to the surroundings. This symbolic gathering place fosters unity, linking students and all living beings to the Creator. By drumming together, the community expresses their oneness with creation and strengthens their relationships with one another.
The collaboration between DIALOG and Two Row Architect aims to not only create a transformative center for well-being but also serve as a gateway to envision a reconciled future Canada. By integrating and uniting Indigenous and settler traditions, the Health & Wellness Center represents a powerful symbol of connection and reconciliation. It offers students an opportunity to experience the possibilities of a unified future Canada, embracing diversity and fostering cultural harmony.
ARCH20 states that the proposed design places green building practices at the forefront, incorporating features such as mass timber, rainwater harvesting, solar and geothermal energy, and the use of renewable building materials. These sustainable elements showcase Seneca College's commitment to reducing its ecological footprint and creating a vibrant, holistic space for the student community.
The center will stand as a testament to the college's dedication to environmental responsibility and the well-being of its students.
The Seneca College Health & Wellness Center represents a visionary approach to student well-being and environmental sustainability. Through the collaboration of DIALOG and Two Row Architect, the design embodies the concept of an "architecture of healing," unifying Indigenous and settler traditions and offering a glimpse into a reconciled future Canada.
As construction commences later this year, the Seneca community eagerly anticipates the completion of this transformative center in 2026. With its innovative design and commitment to holistic health, the Health & Wellness Center will serve as a vibrant and inclusive space at the heart of the Newnham Campus.
Posted by Judy Lamelza