As programs of study in higher education must evolve to better prepare students for their chosen careers, so also must the environments in which they learn. Ontario’s Fleming College, established in the late 1960s, realized the need for a full overhaul of its main campus to stay competitive and to accommodate nearly seventeen thousand full and part-time students.
Commissioned to renovate the Sutherland Campus A-Wing building, the architectural firm Gow Hastings faced the challenge of renovation while students and faculty continued to use the facilities. Modernizing classrooms to provide updated curricula and common areas for comfort in study required a thorough evaluation of the building.
As originally built, the A-Wing lacked color and opportunities for natural lighting to brighten the interior. The previous dark brown cladding on the exterior, while consistent with the college’s environmental surroundings, appeared outdated and moody. One of the first steps in the revitalization involved stripping away the entire envelope down to its steel frames for a retrofit. During the specification of materials, the architects chose ALPOLIC MCM.
Nearly Limitless Design with Endless Finishes and Fabrication Possibilities
Thanks to a solid partnership with Sherwin Williams Coil Coatings, ALPOLIC’s ability to produce any hue onto their metal composite materials presented the Gow Hastings team with the desired colors for this project. Nearly 40,000 square feet of MCM in nine different finishes–including five different whites, two shades of yellow, charcoal, and Mica Anodic Clear–were fabricated and installed.
Rather than retrofit flat panels throughout the envelope as in the original design, Gow Hastings envisioned sections of the building with the MCM installed at different angles to create a visually stunning accordion effect. Panels installed over smaller windows were also perforated to draw natural light into the building, an attractive complement to the addition of floor-to-ceiling windows in the common pavilion areas.
The result presented a cheerful, colorful exterior indicative of the contemporary image Fleming College wished to project. Since its completion in 2020, the A-Wing Building has received several distinctions, among them recognition as a Finalist in the Public Space Design category of the 2021 SBID Awards and a Merit Award in ARCHITECT’s 2023 Architecture and Interiors Award for Adaptive Reuse.
MCM is Ideal for Retrofit Architectural Projects
Often, the decision to retrofit is inspired by a dedication to green building. To bring an older building up to current energy code standards, wrapping the building in continuous insulation and cladding with MCM delivers both energy efficiency and visual appeal. ALPOLIC’s virtually 100% recyclable materials are manufactured with sustainability in mind and come with some of the industry’s best finish warranties.
Retrofitting projects, as opposed to a complete tear-down and rebuild, is not only better for the environment but it can save money in the long run. Redesign with sustainable MCM and the cost savings can add up quickly—less upfront cost, low maintenance costs, less construction time, and the potential for improved energy efficiency. Composite is the ideal choice because of its design flexibility and the variety of colors and finishes.
Cladding existing facades with ALPOLIC MCM injects new life into a project and contributes to its increased energy efficiency and safety. As exemplified by Fleming College’s A Wing, the application of ALPOLIC metal composite materials modernizes a building’s appearance and the reputation of the campus. With infinite colors available, and the best warranty in the industry, ALPOLIC puts on a fresh, lasting face.
For more information on design and specification of MCM in contemporary architecture, schedule an AIA Lunch and Learn session. ALPOLIC presently offers four free accredited AIA/CES Learning Units (HSW).