Living and Learning at McMaster

February 17, 2021


McMaster University’s new Peter George Centre for Living and Learning is the first new residence on campus in 15 years. The 335,000 square-foot building combines a 500-bed residence with academic spaces and several student amenities. The Centre’s atrium houses a striking helical staircase that links the academic and common areas.

Recognizing the staircase as an intuitive wayfinding landmark, we were inspired by its form in the design of the signage.

Curved signage panels wrap the building’s columns and feature directional information to facilities located on each floor.

We selected playful graphics and bold colours to enliven the space and differentiate between different levels, graduating into lighter hues as we reach the top of the building.

The more colourful applications were used for the common spaces and amenities while the more neutral tones were reserved for the classrooms and academic facilities.

Previously located in the basement of the student centre, the new Student Wellness Centre is now featured in a central, light-filled location and called out by vibrant environmental graphics.

Floor level identification is applied directly to the surface at each of the staircase landings to confirm your location within the complex.

The building was designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects to meet the needs of a growing student body. Facilities include two auditoriums (516 seats and 640 seats), an Active Learning Classroom (405 seats), a children’s daycare, a café, and underground parking.

Photography by: doublespace and Adrian Ozimek