School of Architecture
University of Waterloo
Friday, January 22, 2016
The talk tells the story behind the building known as Davis Centre for Computer Research at the University of Waterloo. The tale involves several protagonists, including the over life-size character of the designer, Ron Keenberg of IKOY Architects in Winnipeg, the Ontario architectural firm that somewhat unwittingly agreed to facilitate Mr. Keenberg’s aspirations to practice in Ontario and various people at Waterloo who enabled the design. The talk will reflect on, among other things, the extension of the design competition from one to two stages, the quality of the various schemes submitted, the virtues of the two finalist schemes, and the process by which the actual building came to be. Many of the building’s mysteries will be invoked, some resolved: the colours of the racks and conduits, the presence of the soda fountain stools, the fake marble cladding, the width of the offices, the location of the washrooms, the provenance and significance of the exotic wing-like object that hangs in the main atrium of the building and more.
ERIC (RICK) HALDENBY FRAIC
Rick Haldenby is a Professor at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. He served as Director for 26 years ending in December 2013. A graduate of Waterloo, Prof. Haldenby founded the University’s award winning Rome Program, now in its 37th year. He is the winner of the University of Waterloo Distinguished Teacher Award. He spearheaded the project to relocate the School of Architecture to Cambridge in 2004. A specialist in the design of cultural sites, Professor Haldenby is the author of the Master Plan for the Heritage Park at Ta’ Cenc, Malta. His research covers archaeology and architectural history. He is co-author with Prof. Lorenzo Pignatti of the book Il Progetto del Antico, a study of the relationship between architecture and archaeology. He was Co-director of a multi-disciplinary Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council funded project devoted to innovative research and design in mid-sized cities. Professor Haldenby is past-Chair of the Council of Canadian University Schools of Architecture and twice member of the Board of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He has served on the board of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture and the Canadian Architectural Certification Board. In 2007 he chaired the jury for the Nathan Philip’s Square Revitalization Design Competition and the Toronto Urban Design Awards. He served on the jury for the design competition for the Fort York Visitors Centre in Toronto, the Steering Committee for the Laurentian University School of Architecture and the National Design Advisory Panel for the Lansdowne Park redevelopment in Ottawa. In November 2013 Haldenby received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Council of University Schools of Architecture. In June 2014 he was awarded a Special Jury Prize at the Kitchener Waterloo Arts Awards for his contributions to education, design and culture in Waterloo Region. In the summer of 2014 Haldenby presented Building Waterloo Region, a program of eight exhibitions, tours and events that explored and celebrated the region’s tradition of progressive design and architectural excellence. He has recently been appointed Special Advisor to the Interim Dean of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba.
Haldenby is a third generation architect whose father and grandfather were partners in the Toronto firm Mathers and Haldenby (1921-1991) who were architects for the University Club and architects of record for the Davis Centre for Computer Research at the University of Waterloo.