​Projects | Academic | Huron University College: The Agora Student Centre


Huron University College: The Agora Student Centre


A Learning Environment for the Modern World

Making indoor and outdoor spaces that bring students together and supports them in their academic work




The project involved the design and detailed development of two distinct but complimentary additions to existing main buildings on campus. Together these projects set the stage for transformational change of the overall campus experience, with improved way-finding and circulation, and hubs for student engagement, learning and support. The Agora Student Centre proposed a new two-storey addition and renovation of the University’s existing main student dining facility, updating a tired facility into a new, multi-use, student-focused centre for learning. The project includes state-of-the-art classrooms and learning environments, new student social spaces, as well as a student fitness centre with full shower and change facilities in the lower level. The addition re-clads the present facility providing a modern and prominent presence on Western Road that compliments the campus’ existing historic frontage.



The developed designs have set the stage for a series of innovative and inspiring architectural pieces that are sensitive to the existing character of the campus, and that find inspiration from cloistered and Ivy League campuses in the Educational Gothic style, modernized to suit present needs and construction techniques.



“We are very pleased with the careful and diligent initial work that John MacDonald Architect has brought to the early planning and design process. Their Project Launch and Information Reporting management systems have created clear objectives and stakeholder understanding for the project, and we are excited by the design possibilities that are taking shape. John, Matthew, and the JMA staff are careful listeners, and their organized approach to the work has helped us to understand the complexities of the undertaking. JMA enjoys our full confidence, and we look forward to the journey ahead.”


— Neil Carruthers

C.A.O. (retired) Huron University College




Project Data


Alteration / Addition


London, Ontario

1,400 m² (15,000 sq. ft.) Existing Building

2,300 m² (25,000 sq.ft.) New Addition

Design Development Completed 2017