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 (PCCA) 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 PCCA is the amalgamation of the Fine Arts and Performing Arts programs at Mount Allison. The 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 PCCA supports Mount Allison University’s goal of building its creative community by accommodating its arts curriculum in a new and contemporary way.

The PCCA is on track for a sustainability rating of four Green Globes, with an achievement of 30.5% savings over the Model National Energy Code for Buildings. One of the building’s most significant environmental achievement is the non-use of air conditioning. It is almost entirely naturally ventilated, except for the self-contained Theatre.

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 will support the intellectual and cultural development of the Mount Allison community.