Richard Ivey Building in London, Business School Campus Ontario, Canadian Architecture

Richard Ivey Building in London

Western University Facility, Business School Canada design by Hariri Pontarini Architects

Design: Hariri Pontarini Architects

Richard Ivey Building (2016 OAA Award in Design Excellence)

Richard Ivey Building
photograph : Ben Rahn / A-Frame Inc.

14 + 13 Apr 2016

Richard Ivey Building in London, Ontario

Brief Project Description:

The Richard Ivey Building at Western University creates a vibrant, unified, campus for the Ivey Business School. The vision was to attract the best students and faculty, express Ivey’s global identity, and celebrate Western’s history.

The design is a modern interpretation of the archetypal quadrangle building. The three-storey structure is organized around a landscaped courtyard and the interior circulation is anchored by a Grand Hall: the heart of the community. This methodology optimizes natural light and minimizes the building’s footprint.

Stone and masonry on the exterior cladding mirrors that of Western University’s Gothic collegiate architecture, while earthy wood elements throughout the interior creates a warm, home like environment.

Richard Ivey Building

Richard Ivey Building
photos : Ben Rahn / A-Frame Inc.

Richard Ivey Building, Western University

The design supports this vision through its form, massing, and materiality. A contemporary interpretation of the collegiate quadrangle layout, the three storey, 274,000 square-foot building is organized around a self-contained, central courtyard. The courtyard brings light and activity to the centre of the building and connects directly into a full-height Grand Hall designed to be the Heart of the School. Open to the terraced floors above, and flanked by a monolithic fireplace and grand staircase, the Grand Hall anchors the building’s everyday circulation, while becoming a gathering space for events and recruitment.

At the ground floor, the perimeter is made up of 20 Case-Study classrooms. The Case Method training model- encouraging active conversation rather than lecturing- is unique to Ivey’s identity. Therefore, the design of the tiered 80 and 50 seat classrooms were paramount to supporting Ivey’s academic programme. Every classroom has natural light and outward views, fundamental to a learning space being inviting and inspiring. Their relationship to adjacent breakout rooms including open-concept work areas, lounges, and custom benches in the colonnade encourage conversation and engagement.

Richard Ivey Building

Richard Ivey Building

Richard Ivey Building
photos : Nikolas Koenig

A gradation from the active to the contemplative informs the distribution of additional program elements; active areas in the northeast corner around the Grand Hall and contemplative areas in the southwest around the library. In addition, the dining hall, library, and amphitheatre are afforded distinctive treatment as pavilions. The second and third floors include an administration wing, a faculty wing, and a wing for the MBA program.

Ivey is designed to feel like home. The building’s materials—stone, walnut, glass, copper, steel, and Douglas fir—were selected for their warmth and timelessness. The solid masonry on the exterior conveys the traditional materiality of Western University’s Gothic architecture, while the walnut accents throughout the interior create a warm, welcoming environment.

Richard Ivey Building
photo : Alina Cornea

The siting of Ivey at an important intersection sets the stage for Western University’s expansion between the main campus and the outlying colleges. The site plan enhances the pivotal role the experience of the landscape plays in the programmatic life of the School, and reinforces Western’s brand as an urban university in a verdant and walkable campus.

Innovative strategies were employed to achieve LEED Gold certification, including storm water and waste management plans, and the use of locally sourced materials. Low-emitting argon windows in thermal frames, lighting occupancy sensors, and heat recovery on ventilated air help improve energy performance by 51%; efficient washroom features reduce potable water use by 58%. The quadrangle layout of the building maximizes natural light – 75% of spaces are day lit – it also contains a reflecting pool that collects rainwater. Operable windows allow cross-ventilation throughout. During construction, 81% of waste was diverted from landfill.

Richard Ivey Building
photo : Maris Mezulis

The Richard Ivey Building is an expression of the Ivey Business Schools goals and a beacon of the school’s global status.

Richard Ivey Building
photo : DoubleSpace Photography

The use of cantilevers plays heavily into the success of the design. Utilizing the building’s massing for support, balconies and canopies visually float above, giving way to unobstructed open spaces below. These spaces in-between, transformed into usable elements, which are essential in and of themselves become places of informal gathering and engagement.

Richard Ivey Building
photo : Ben Rahn / A-Frame Inc.

A large cantilevered canopy, supported by the roof structure of the adjacent auditorium, shelters the main entrance extending the building’s reach beyond the front door to connect with the landscape and Western University’s verdant campus.

Richard Ivey Building
photo : DoubleSpace Photography

The second and third storeys, with their organic curving edges, undulate above the Grand Hall supported by a singular exposed column. Combined, these design features allow for unobstructed views and visual connection and interaction between the three levels.

Richard Ivey Building
photo Courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects

Richard Ivey Building in London, Ontario – Building Information

The University of Western Ontario, London, ON

274,000 sq. ft. / 25,455 m2

$100 million


algonquin stone:
• Crust-faced – exterior wall application
• Rubble-faced – exterior wall application
• Hone finish – window fins, sills and ledges including water features (stainless steel basin with stone finish)

• Caps/fins for exterior windows

• Soffit of main entrance
• Exterior detailing
• Entrance canopies

• Cantilevered structure over Main Entrance (30’ deep)

wood window:
• Ground Floor, courtyard windows

unitized glass:
• Curtain wall on upper floors
• 5.5m x 3m panes for cantilevered ‘Jewel box’ meeting rooms over main entrance
• Glazed skylights

Richard Ivey Building

Richard Ivey Building
drawings Courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects


acoustic walls:
• Maharam fabric – Classrooms and auditorium

algonquin stone:
• Crust-faced – fireplace in Ivey Hall
• Hone finish – fireplace in Ivey Hall; circulation space floor on levels 2 and 3

• All handrails
• Stair nosing

• Carpet Concept – Eco 1 – Classrooms, Auditorium, administrative areas

• Laminated with white inter-layer for built-in, floor to ceiling whiteboards in breakout and meeting rooms

• Hone finish – Ground Floor circulation space

• Walnut – millwork in classrooms, Ivey Hall, Auditorium, Dining Hall, Library, Administrative Wing, Faculty Wing, Faculty Lounge, balustrade in Ivey Hall
• Douglas Fir – sandblasted, rift-cut for ceilings
• Smoked White Oak – Ground Floor Student Lounge, Dean’s Suite Boardroom, Faculty Lounge

Richard Ivey Building

Richard Ivey Building
drawings Courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects

Richard Ivey Building in London, Ontario image / information from Hariri Pontarini Architectss

Hariri Pontarini Architects

Film on YouTube

Address: Richard Ivey Bldg, 1255 Western Rd, London, ON N6G 0N1, Canada

Website: The Richard Ivey Building

Location: Richard Ivey Bldg, 1255 Western Rd, London, ON N6G 0N1, Canada

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