The SAIT Trades & Technology Complex is a large three-building transformational addition to the SAIT campus in inner-city Calgary. Its primary goal is to meet the student growth demands with over 750,000 sq. ft. of formal and informal learning space including 56 new classrooms, 94 new teaching laboratories/workshops and three new schools of learning (Construction, Energy and Manufacturing & Automation).
The development also initiated a transformative re-imagining of the campus as being more open, accessible and welcoming to its surrounding communities. The shift in the culture of education at SAIT—more informal collaborative learning areas versus traditional classrooms—prompted an institution-wide shift in creating a student- first culture that steps beyond the classroom experience and more into the overall campus experience. The open informal learning areas line the perimeter of the Trades & Technology Complex’s buildings, “showcasing students” with large expansive windows as seen from the wide pedestrian-orientated outdoor malls, plazas and landscaped areas.
The architecture of the Trades & Technology Complex is inspired by the historic Heritage Hall in the heart of the campus. Its scale, proportions and materiality set the tone for the development of the Trades & Technology Complex and future redevelopments on campus. The Trades & Technology Complex’s architecture is derived from the Heritage Hall architecture with reverence and respect including its compositional rhythm, cadence and flow. This design attitude is what makes the campus unique in comparison to other campuses in Calgary.