SFU’s architecture takes advantage of the extraordinary beauty of the site by placing the academic complex at the highest point and bridging the lower points with a pedestrian mall. The mall is a kind of aerial campus. The heart of the mall, the principal meeting place outside the library, is covered by a glass roof for year-round protection.
Horizontal masses dominate the composition, with verticals providing deep recesses at the windows so that the more durable character of concrete rather than glass reads as the dominant material. The combination of horizontal masses with vertical accents provides rhythm throughout the building masses and is reflected even in the trusswork of the glass roof. This simple thematic device (which also serves a structural purpose) gives the building complex its characteristic of classical repose.
Unfinished concrete is the basic structural and finishing material - unmarred by paint or contrasting materials to distract from its inherent beauty.
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