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Project University Commons Location Edmonton, AB Completion 2022 Size 38,000 m2 Client University of Alberta Project Type Concept Share this project:

University Commons

A modern nexus of activity and learning.

Originally constructed in 1922, the Dentistry Pharmacy Building (now known as University Commons) is a well-known, publicly visible, historic building that has outlived its expected life cycle. This facility features significant rehabilitation, renovation, and redevelopment opportunities through an adaptive reuse approach. The project includes a seven-storey addition and a new central atrium that integrates the new with the old. Designed as a vertical university, the building includes opportunities for collaboration and interconnection between floors and programs.

GEC developed this LEED Gold design through a strategy of value-based conservation that addressed the historic nature of the 1922 building while integrating the new addition, specialized learning environments, event spaces, offices, and technology into the existing building to meet the current needs of the university. A central atrium defines a campus crossroads that serves as a gathering and special event space, allowing users to connect while also bringing daylight deep into the heart of the building. The upper floors are organized around interconnecting neighbourhoods that provide social stairs and connectivity floors.


Year Award Organization
2023 Award of Merit, Heritage Projects Edmonton Urban Design Awards
2023 Gold, Special Feature (University Commons Reading Room) MASI Design Awards
2023 Gold, Institutional MASI Design Awards
2022 Interior Lighting Award, 2022 Northern Lighting Awards Illuminating Engineering Society, Edmonton Section



Date TitlePublication
2023.09 FeatureAward Magazine

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