September 2023

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S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 3 | 91 Courtyard Residence – Phase 2 – SFU R EN D ER I N GS CO U RT E S Y D I A LO G COURTYARD RESIDENCE – PHASE 2 – SFU by NATALIE BRUCKNER S imon Fraser University (SFU) has long been known for its commitment to academic excel- lence and creating a vibrant campus community. Staying true to its mis- sion of inspiring and transforming through education, SFU embarked on a monumental project – the Courtyard Residence – a two-build- ing, state-of-the-art housing facility and a pivotal part of Phase 2 of SFU's five-phase Residence and Housing Redevelopment Masterplan. The primary objective of the Courtyard Residence is to enrich student life by offering secure and affordable housing for first-year students within a nurturing envi- ronment. Jim Meschino, director of campus planning and development, elaborates: "The latest addition to the SFU residence community, Courtyard Residence, features an 11-storey tower that majestically rises above the campus. It encompasses 369 student resident units, shared kitchens, washrooms, and laundry services." The residence also houses a new four-storey main administration office of SFU Residence and Housing, and in addition, serves as the new home for The Simon – SFU's short-term accom- modations for campus visitors. "The 11-storey tower block sits in harmony with the existing Student Residence towers west of this project and the academic campus to the east. To the north, the project steps down in the form of the four-storey, low-rise building in response to the current streetscape along University Drive," explains Meeta Lele, architect and project manager at Dialog. The construction of the Courtyard Residence commenced in January 2021, accompanied by a unique set of challenges. The chosen site, pre- viously occupied by Madge Hogarth House, SFU's inaugural residence, presented intricate logistics. Ilyich Fitzgerald, project manager at Ledcor, shares insights into the complexities faced: "There was a lot of sloping and rock on the site, so the below-grade foundations were deep. Due to the split-level buildings, we had to build a retaining wall and fill the space in the middle of the two buildings before building outwards. It was a challeng- ing engineering sequence. There was one colossal 30-foot-high wall that required a tremendous amount of backfill, and we had to place a geogrid mat to manage the soil and distribute the weight." Given the region's unpredict- able weather, characterized by high winds and relentless rain, the exte- rior design needed to withstand these conditions. To address this, the team opted for precast panels with vary- ing weights, ensuring both structural integrity and weather resistance. "There are 650 panels all weighing anywhere from 5,000 to 20,000 lbs," explains Fitzgerald. For the design, Lele explains that inspiration came from Erickson's form-making legacy on the original SFU campus. "Two characteristics that are echoed in the detailing of the new residence halls' precast concrete panels are the finely detailed use of concrete and the theme of repeating verticals creating horizontal forms. Alternate contrasting textures and colours create a pattern of repeating verticals that slip and slide to animate the building façade. Red and blue accents at the windows add a touch of playfulness that continues in the design of the courtyard and breezeway with its series of 'play' areas." Inside the Courtyard Residence, a harmonious blend of functionality and elegance await the student resi- dents, staff, and visitors. Lele explains that this project is expected to be a hub of activity, adding, "This is best repre- sented in the central lobby where this notion of arrival and confluence is cele- brated architecturally with the exposed wood frame structure and the dou- ble height entrance volume. Creating a rich public realm was an important design driver and this project does so LOCATION University Drive, Burnaby, B.C. OWNER /DEVELOPER Simon Fraser University ARCHITECT DIALOG GENER AL CONTR ACTOR Ledcor Construction Limited STRUCTUR AL CONSULTANT RJC Engineers MECHANICAL CONSULTANT AME Group ELECTRICAL CONSULTANT AES Engineering CIVIL CONSULTANT Aplin Martin L ANDSCAPE ARCHITECT PWL Partnership Landscape Architects Inc. TOTAL SIZE 142,500 square feet TOTAL COST $113 million

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