University of Windsor, School of Creative Arts (SOCA)

A highly integrated creative arts facility for the University, SOCA establishes a new downtown arts precinct in the city of Windsor. The dynamic programme is distributed within both the repurposed heritage Armouries structure and the adjacent new purpose-built studio building on the former Tunnel BBQ site. The existing Armouries structure, a solid red-brick large-span hall more than a century old, is devoted to various studios for visual arts, architecture and music, as well as performance space. Assembling these discrete disciplines in an innovative collaborative model required intensive workshops with various stakeholder groups. The design result is a series of hubs that encourage creative overlap between disciplines, with studio spaces clustered according to adjacency and spatial qualities. The original heritage Armouries building has been restored and transformed into an inspiring multi-disciplinary home for the arts.