Renovated science lounge enhances the student experience
The second floor of the Armes building has been completely transformed with the opening of the newly renovated Science Students Association (SSA) Lounge. Renovations will be completed by the end of the month. As the SSA explains, the large open concept space, measuring over 4000 sq. feet is both modern and bright.
Why was it important to renovate this space?
“We represent approximately 4,125 undergraduate science students. The vision for our council was to create a space that students could enjoy. A space that encouraged creative and academic learning in a place that was our own. For fun, we’ve kept the foosball and pool tables.”
What are some of the new features of the space?
“We now have a study room that students can rent for group study sessions. If they get hungry while studying, a Starbucks that offers a variety of menu items including breakfast is now available. A new counter top with microwaves and charging stations has been installed and the addition of high top chairs will increase the amount of seating available. We are glad that we now have more outlets and workstations where students can plug in their electronic devices. In addition, a monitor will be installed outside the lounge to update students about upcoming events.”
Can you tell us more about the new look?
“One of the colours chosen was a paint shade called oxygen, selected for its brightness. Coincidentally it is also one of the elements listed on the periodic table. Blue is a simple colour; the colour of the sky and the sea, it denotes a sense of trust and confidence. Traits we encourage in our student body. The red and the yellow were nominated for accent colours that worked together with the existing mural. Now the lounge looks livelier and more open than it was previously.”
Indigenous design elements have been incorporated, why is this important?
“We felt it was important to have design elements in the lounge that represented First Nations, Métis, and Inuit heritages. It is important to be proud of our history and where we have come from.
Soon a circle representing the four directions: North, East, South, West, in the language of the Anishinabee people of Treaty 1 territory will be incorporated into the space. The soon-to-be circle symbolizes both the circle of life and the medicine wheel. At the centre, heritages merge into the circle of life bringing together balance, harmony and integrate ceremonies, language and culture. The medicine wheel reveals itself in many ways such as: the four stages of life, the four seasons, the four directions, and many more.”
“The ceiling tiles being fitted have a compass rose displayed in the center of each tile. Each tile is decorated with symbols of animal and plants that differ in their meanings depending on the Indigenous tribe. Every emblem holding spiritual significance is meant to communicate lessons learned, an idea or dream. In our lives as students, as we face different challenges, it is important to retain balance and harmony. The diverse symbols are intended to mean something different to everyone who reflects on them.”
“Every council wants to leave their mark, so the lounge will continue to change. Student preferences will change because thousands of students cycle through university life every year. We just wanted to create a place that was inspiring, so future students can build upon what we have started; a place that students can be proud of.”