FIMS/Nursing Building earns design honours

Special to Western News

Architects from Tillman Ruth Robinson gave members of the Western community, especially the Faculty of Information and Media Studies (FIMS) and Faculty of Health Sciences, a sneak peer of the new building, which will be home to FIMS and the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing by 2017.

Western’s bright and bustling FIMS & Nursing Building, home to the Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing and the Faulty of Information and Media Studies, garnered top prize in the 2017 London Urban Design Awards. The honour celebrates original design concepts and visionary thinking in architecture.

Opened to students in January, the building was designed by architects Tillman Ruth Robinson Inc., in association with Ron Koudys Landscape Architects Inc. Norlon Builders was general contractor.

The award entry descriptor said the design emphasizes not only campuswide connections but is “the physical representation of collaborative synergies created by the convergence of people and ideas.”

Its careful balance of glass and collegiate-gothic stone makes it clear “that this is a landmark new building on campus,” the submission noted.

And the selection committee, through the City of London, clearly agreed.

“London is home to some creative and innovative minds building phenomenal structures. It’s inspiring to see our streetscapes evolve and take shape. This is city building at its best,” said Mayor Matt Brown.

The new Western building has 136,000 square feet of space for a range of special-purpose studio and library space, as well as research labs, active-learning rooms and flexible classrooms. One highlight is a spacious courtyard and entryway that welcomes people into a three-storey atrium awash in natural light.

The spaces and angles inside and outside the building all link to the Thames River on one side and offer multiple connectors and gateways to the rest of campus.