The Art of Meeting Emily Carr University’s Creative Needs

Article and Photos Courtesy of Jean Sorensen for Journal of Commerce

Artists create with all kinds of material so when EllisDon received the nod to do the P3 design-build contract for the $122.6-million new Emily Carr University of Art + Design it was an exercise in finding ways to meet a wide open range of creative needs.“You had a building where pretty well every room had a specific purpose — there was even a puppet room,” said EllisDon project manager Gary Watt.These included a wood shop, carving rooms, 400-seat lecture hall and theatre, metal working room, ceramics area, kiln rooms, outdoor arts plaza with a high-tech screen for showing animation and film, plus a $4 million motion capture studio with 40 cameras, natural light painting rooms, a library, and more.“The mechanical and electrical design had to suit all the equipment and provide extraction for any exhaust,” said Watt.The construction of B.C.’s leading art university has earned EllisDon a Vancouver Regional Construction Association Silver Award of Excellence (general contractor over $50 million). Two other companies within the university’s construction team also received silvers: Holmes & Brakel (manufacturers and suppliers) and Houle Electric (contract over $5 million).

Watt said that because it was a design-build project there had to be a cooperative attitude between the client, construction crew, and the design team. “Emily Carr (staff) had ideas of what they wanted and often it was a challenge, but at the end of the day it worked out pretty well,” Watt said.The structure is large, comprising a 26,700-square-metre (290,000 sf) of space. It has a composite look, with coloured glass denoting the colours used in Carr’s painting, and was designed by the joint effort of Diamond Schmitt and Chernoff Thompson architects. Diamond’s senior associate architect Anna Maria Llanos said the building’s interior is broken into quadrants to help many full-time and part-time students and the public way-find.Read the full article HERE