Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts, Mount Allison University

Sackville, New Brunswick

Client: Mount Allison University
Size: 50,000 sq.ft. (4,645 sq.m.)
Green Globes: 4 (on track)

The Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts is the first new campus building for Mount Allison University in three decades. Prominently located on Main Street, the building acts as a new gateway to the campus, and gives Mount Allison a strong identity within the community. The building’s red rock-faced ashlar sandstone exterior matches the traditional campus buildings, integrating it with its surrounding context.

The Centre for the Arts is a story about creating a village for the arts: a village that fits within the context of the campus, and supports the intellectual and cultural development of the Mount Allison community. The Centre is the amalgamation of the Fine Arts and Performing Arts programs at Mount Allison. Our design centres on the idea of a meeting place that mixes teaching and learning experiences within a variety of formal and informal spaces. Three volumes come together in a multi-level common space that invites different, creative uses and cross-department interactions. The design and programming of the Centre supports Mount Allison University’s goal of building its creative community by accommodating its arts curriculum in a new and contemporary way. The Centre has received three Green Globes, with an achievement of 31% savings over the Model National Energy Code for Buildings. The building is almost entirely naturally ventilated, with the exception of the Theatre.