Brock University, DeCew Student Residence Renewal

Although in overall good condition considering years of use, the 10 distinct houses forming Brock University’s DeCew Residence struggled to meet the living experience expected by a contemporary student community. In 2016, architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson completed a Study for Brock that examined opportunities at DeCew to improve the comfort of its inhabitants, as well as refresh the appearance and performance of the house bedrooms, washrooms and common/social spaces.  The completed Study documented strategies and associated costs to freshen and renew both the function and finishes of the Residence, as well as upgrade and replace the existing mechanical and electrical infrastructure.

Following the successful completion of the Study, our firm was selected to implement the established programmatic requirements and vision for the future of the DeCew Residence. Key to this vision is the development of DeCew as a beehive of campus life activity and the introduction of student, staff and faculty space that is flexible for change in use as housing models evolve. A sensitive contrast between the old and new construction ranges from minimal interventions throughout the building, to major corridor bump-out and openings in floors providing access to daylight. The pedestrian street scape corridor will become a student-focused amenity space that inspires and fosters student wellness through a greater connection to nature and the Niagara escarpment.