Perkins + Will used design to rekindle interest in the skilled trades with their completion of Kawartha Trades + Technology Centre (KTTC), a beautiful energy-efficient building at Sir Sandford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ontario. Since its opening in 2014, the warm and welcoming light-filled technology center building has seen an uptick in enrollment as well as a shift towards more female applicants in the traditionally male-dominated field.
Skills trades are typically taught in repurposed industrial buildings separated from the main campus, said Perkins + Will to OnOffice Magazine. To buck the trend, the architecture firm’s Toronto office designed Kawartha Trades + Technology Centre as a gateway structure that aligns with student residences and the recreational zone to the north. The 87,000-square-foot structure offers training in fields including carpentry, welding, plumbing, and machining.
The building comprises two intersecting volumes clad in a rich natural-toned materials palette of black cement board, natural concrete, cedar, Corten steel, and generous glazing. Natural light floods the interior set up for flexible and collaborative learning, such as the large ‘learning factory’ that encourages trades to work collaboratively within a large floor space. “Fostering the visibility of students working in the bustling commons area below, the facility emulates a real-world construction site and promotes the cross-pollination of ideas, while simultaneously providing the technological tools needed for the traditional teaching above,” wrote the architects.
Built with sustainability in mind, Kawartha Trades + Technology Centre was designed to meet LEED Gold standards. Access to natural light reduces dependence on artificial light, while an accessible teaching roof terrace offers students an up-close view of integrated wind turbines, a photovoltaic solar array, and green roof.
Images via Perkins + Will