CESIP: Designed for connection

As the university’s new Centre for Environmental Science and International Partnership (CESIP) emerges on the west side of campus, Royal Roads community members were invited to take a peek behind the scenes at the project’s vision and its design inspiration.

At a recent open house, architect Stuart Rothnie of HCMA Architecture + Design explained how a 100-year old horse stable will be transformed into a modern hub for undergraduates.

Rothnie says once complete, CESIP will become a living laboratory that fosters innovation in research, sustainability and intercultural understanding at Royal Roads University. He says the new space will encourage a sense of belonging and create ways for people to learn and explore together through shared interactions, and learning experiences.

“When students come to Royal Roads and if they are worlds apart when they arrive here…, it’s our hope that they begin to connect and share experiences,” says Rothnie. “When they leave, when they graduate, there’s a moment when they become global citizens and sensitive to the needs of others. If we create a facility that meets that objective of international partnership, then we have succeeded.”

The architect says the renovated Mews building and newly constructed addition will provide classrooms, laboratories and interaction spaces for meetings, break-out sessions and socialization.

“We know that learning is everywhere in our lives and the opportunities for students to engage, connect and socialize in and around this facility is vital to its success,” Rothnie says. “As architects, we think very carefully about the connective spaces between the program needs and we make sure they are as successful as the teaching environment.”

Rothnie’s presentation is available on the Royal Roads YouTube channel along with a time lapse video of recent construction progress of the new addition. 

Project funding for CESIP was announced in January 2017 and construction is expected to be completed by April 2018.