Scheduled to officially open its doors in September, Concordia's all-new John Molson School of Business will unveil its new facilities to students and public alike in downtown Montreal. Canadian firms Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects and Fichten Soiferman and Associates formed a consortium, KPMBFSA, for the project.
This $118.5 million project is the second installment of a three-phase project including the 'Guy Metro Building' as well as the already built 'Engineering- Computer Science and Visual Arts Integrated Complex' described as the “Non-Identical Twin of the JMSB” by architect Bruce Kuwabara. All three of which are inter-linked underground and to the metro system.
Within its two sub-basement levels and 15 levels above ground there are 45 classrooms, a 300-seat auditorium, two 150-seat amphitheaters, four 120-seat amphitheaters, 22 conference rooms, and numerous other office spaces and services housed within the complex.
Complimenting the space are two pieces of integrated art, where the structure and the art itself are interwoven. Inside on the second floor, a suspended special event room features art by Pierre Blanchette, entitled La Nacelle, which wraps the entire volume in wood and metals - visible to visitors both inside and out. For the exterior, artist Geneviève Cadieux created “Lierre sur pierre” (Ivy Leaves facing De Maisonneuve Blvd West), covering 550 sq feet, which feature an over-sized ivy tendril rendered in reflective anodized metal climbing up a limestone wall.
“With this project, we were able to provide Concordia University and the JMSB programs a higher academic standard and also a visible physical presence in a concentrated downtown area by creating a vertical campus, housing the entire faculty” said FSA Partner, Jacob Fichten, from his office in Montreal. This concept was applied, as the vertical development allowed the university to maximize its potential in this valuable downtown location which is now linked safely by tunnel, creating a new entrance into the metro system.
LEED designation for the building is currently under review. Many components ranging from the use of durable materials like granite, metal, glass and ceramic, and the use of high performance thermal glass on its exterior address the green sensibility in practical ways.
The architects also integrated a green roof on the 4th floor terrace and incorporated 300 sq. meters of solar panels, developed at Concordia, on the top of one of the facades. This solar wall significantly reduces the energy consumption of the building to the equivalence of heating seven Canadian homes throughout the year.