Markin Hall nominated for design honour

Markin Hall’s architectural design has been nominated for a 2012 Prairie Design Award in the Recent Work category.

Although the winner won’t be announced until the end of the month, building designers are hopeful.
“We think it’s a great building and we want to share it,” said Martin Jones, partner at Calgary’s GEC Architecture. “Frankly, we think it’s a really good piece of work. It’s one of the better ones that we’ve done in recent years - probably ever.”

Jones said the company applied for the award and was pleased to be accepted.
“We’re really proud of the building.”
He said Markin Hall’s design was inspired by the Lethbridge’s climate and landscape.

“With the wind and the sun being such strong influences in both winter and summer, and the Chinook, and the fact that if you design a building the right way in Lethbridge you can have workable, pleasant outdoor spaces even in the middle of winter because of the Chinook,” said Jones.
“We were really trying to capitalize on this idea of a kind of front porch, a sun catch in the winter, but sheltered from the Chinooks … and also a kind of shady place in the summer.”

He added that building design also considered the future placement of the outdoor courtyard which is set to undergo construction this summer.
“The north side of the building … has use of the trestle and coulee and river valley, and it’s eventually going to face a space that (will) be an animated, active quad on the campus. In climatic terms we put a study area there with large, expansive glass with nice views out to the quad.”

Home to the Faculty of Health Sciences and Dhillon School of Business, Markin Hall achieved a Silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) status. The building features a high tech healthcare simulation lab and a state-of-the-art finance trading room with real-time data from the world’s financial markets.

The Prairie Design Awards will be presented as part of the Alberta Association of Architects’ Banff Session held April 27.


Published in The Legend May 2012