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Campus Master Plan — phase two

Campus and Community

By Memorial University

Imagine a skating loop and greener, more walkable spaces on Memorial’s St. John’s campus.

The St. John’s Campus Master Plan is now in phase two of its three-phase plan and we want your input.

The consultant is sharing a working draft of the campus and they are seeking your input. Draft plans for the Signal Hill Campus and the Ocean Sciences Centre are expected in November.

A photo essay of Brook McIlroy’s draft renderings of the St. John’s Campus Master Plan follow below.

1/ Draft 2-D campus plan

The draft campus plan for the St. John’s campus provides a comprehensive and sustainable urban design approach for campus buildings, open spaces, the public realm and transportation connections. The plan recommends a 3.2-kilometre green ribbon network of landscaped and tree-lined pathways that will improve connectivity between buildings and open spaces and beautify the campus.

Photo: Brook McIlroy Inc.

2/ Core highlights

The campus core is divided into four key project areas. Proposed features within the core include a multi-modal transit hub, a revitalized Memorial Tower quad with a skate trail, a new quad adjacent to the future redesigned Science building, mixed use building wings to the Arts and Administration building and a new Indigenous Resource Centre (Juniper House) and open space.

Photo: Brook McIlroy Inc.

3/ Four-season campus

Above is an image depicting what a skating rink on the St. John's campus could look like. With students primarily using the campus in the fall and winter months, the plan puts an emphasis on making the campus enjoyable in all seasons. Similar to the skate trail implemented by the City of St. John’s in Bannerman Park, a skate trail is proposed as part of a new Memorial tower quad, which will convert to open space in warmer months.

Photo: City of Toronto

4/ Science building quad re-imagined: social space

Current university plans to partially remove the Science building will open up new green space for the university community to enjoy. A landscaped open space that includes flexible study and social spaces are proposed. Here, an example of what social space in that location could look like is pictured.

Photo: Ben Wrigley

5/ Science building quad re-imagined: green space

Here, an example of what green space in the area of the Science building could look like is pictured.

Photo: Tom Arban

6/ Athletics expansion

Initial consultations and a study of university space identified a desire for additional space to accommodate growing and diverse health and wellness needs. The plan’s new expansions could provide facilities for recreation and varsity sports, as well as general health and wellness uses for the university community.

Photo: Brook McIlroy Inc.

7/ Beautification of Westerland Road

The plan proposes the redesign of Westerland Road to a “woonerf” or “flex” street. This would include improved landscaping, pedestrian furnishings, paving and pedestrian crossings. The street would be shared by all modes of transportation, but its design is intended to reduce vehicle speeds and prioritize pedestrians and cyclists.

Photo: John Gollings

8/ Pippy Park path

Unbeknownst to most, the St. John’s campus is within the boundaries of Pippy Park. The Pippy Park path will connect Burton’s Pond and Long Pond through landscaped pedestrian walkways as part of the broader green ribbon pedestrian circuit. A weather-protected green bridge will provide safe pedestrian passage across Prince Philip Drive and connect the north and south portions of the campus.

Photo: Brook McIlroy Inc.

9/ Learning Landing

Furthering the connectivity to Long Pond and expanding the narrative of Indigenous placemaking throughout the campus, the Learning Landing proposes an outdoor Indigenous gathering place and enclosed land-based learning pavilion within a new campus open-space setting. The Learning Landing will provide views and access to Long Pond with seating and other public amenities near the water’s edge.

Photo: Brook McIlroy Inc.

10/ Indigenous architecture inspiration

An example of Indigenous architecture that serves as inspiration for the proposed Indigenous gathering place and land-based learning pavilion near Long Pond.

Photo: Douglas Cardinal

11/ Gathering space inspiration

An example of a Indigenous gathering place that serves as inspiration for the proposed Indigenous gathering place and land-based learning pavilion near Long Pond.

Photo: Brook McIlroy Inc.

12/ Burton's Pond re-imagined, part one

The Burton’s Pond area is envisioned as a redesigned campus area in the long term with new buildings and complementary outdoor spaces. The plan proposes improved pedestrian mobility and amenities near Burton’s Pond through new picnic dock areas, a boardwalk that extends over a portion of the pond and a new pathway system that replaces the existing vehicular road.

Photo: Brook McIlroy Inc.

13/ Burton's Pond re-imagined, part two

A sample image that is serving as inspiration for seating and landscaping in the Burton’s Pond area. The revitalization of the Burton’s Pond area should include enhanced seating near the pond and high-quality landscaping features.

Photo: LABLAND architects

14/ Burton's Pond re-imagined, part three

Bioswales are serving as inspiration for the Burton's Pond redesign. Bioswales are channels designed to concentrate and convey stormwater runoff while removing debris and pollution.

Photo: Chris Kitchen

15/ Arctic Avenue upgrades

The redesign of Arctic Avenue is proposed to improve pedestrian safety and the aesthetics of the street, including improved sidewalks and paving, new trees and landscaping, traffic-calming measures and a pedestrian-priority crossing between the University Centre and the National Research Council Building on the campus's north side. A new pedway is proposed between the Core Science Facility with the existing parking garage.

Photo: Brook McIlroy Inc.

Sharing the vision

On May 19, steering committee co-chairs Dr. Mark Abrahams, dean, Faculty of Science, and Ann Browne, associate vice-president (facilities), were joined by project consultant Brook McIlroy Inc. and sub-consultant Harbourside Transportation for a community-wide virtual consultation session.

This included a presentation of the draft plan via WebEx and YouTube and facilitation of a Q&A session.

The draft plan provides future visioning for the campus with a time frame of 15 years and beyond.

The plan provides a flexible design framework which can evolve with evolving university needs. Its goal is to bring connectivity and community to the campus, while improving facilities and infrastructure.

Once the plan has been finalized, and as funding and opportunities arise, proposed recommendations within the Campus Master Plan will be further explored as capital projects.

The draft plan for the St. John’s campus is anchored by six key design principles.

  1. A new landscaped pedestrian circuit, or green ribbon, to connect the campus;
  2. New buildings to revitalize key campus areas and outdoor spaces;
  3. Indigenous placemaking and placekeeping as a central campus narrative;
  4. Consolidated parking as green and strategically placed facilities;
  5. Campus streets for people that improve ease of mobility and encourage multiple modes of transportation; and,
  6. New campus gateways that enhance the sense of arrival.

Participation encouraged

A copy of the full draft plan presentation for the St. John’s plan can be found here.

Have your say on what the St. John’s campus should look like now, and for future generations. A survey is currently open on the project’s digital engagement page, Bang the Table.

Information is continually being updated on the Campus Master Plan website. Updates will be shared regularly on Memorial’s social media channels throughout the planning process.

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