← Back



Photo credit: Doublespace Photography


The bold architecture of the Bergeron Centre is a metaphor for creativity. Evoking the properties of a cloud, the undulating façade is comprised of a series of triangles positioned according to a complex algorithm. The façade reflects light and pattern while at the same time minimizing the window-to-wall ratio of the building envelope.

Through a highly integrated and collaborative process, the design team was able to attain LEED Gold certification, a first for York University and a considerable achievement for a facility of this size and type.

Located on a campus of 104 buildings and 10 million square feet, the Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence has recently become York University’s first LEED Gold certified building. The facility provides a holistic platform to educate the next generation of ‘Renaissance Engineers’, creative problem solvers and entrepreneurial leaders with a social conscience.

The Bergeron Centre is a highly technical building with a significant infrastructure requirement to deliver a lab-intensive program. Energy conservation strategies included a focus on achieving a high-performance building envelope. Specifically, the window-to-wall ratio was minimized to allow for greater overall insulation and an increased wall thickness. A vegetated roof adds to the insulation value of the roof.

Beyond these energy conservation measures, the sustainable design strategy was based on sustainable site development, materials management, waste diversion and innovation credits that included an extensive public education and outreach program.

The university is undergoing a transition from a suburban, car-based campus to one that is more urban and sustainable. In keeping with this goal, the building is located on a former parking lot. Optimal orientation was determined using detailed microclimate analysis, and the building footprint was minimized by stacking the program vertically. [1]


Converted to Steel Award of Excellence, Canadian Institute of Steel Construction

Architectural Woodwork Awards, LEED Project, Ontario Chapter Architectural Woodwork Manufacturers Association of Canada


[1]      “Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence.” SABMag, August 15, 2019. https://sabmagazine.com/bergeron-centre-for-engineering-excellence/.

Additional information:

“Bergeron Centre at York University Wins Canbim Award.” Canadian Architect, December 7, 2016. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/canbim-award-winners/.

“The Bergeron Centre for ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE: ZAS: Architects + Interiors, ARUP, Blackwell.” Archello. Accessed August 26, 2021. https://archello.com/project/the-bergeron-centre-for-engineering-excellence.

“Design Vision.” The Bergeron Centre. Accessed August 26, 2021. http://thebergeroncentre.ca/design-vision/.

Mafi, Nick. “The New BERGERON Centre at York University Used an Algorithm to Create Its Beautiful Design.” Architectural Digest. Architectural Digest, December 22, 2015. https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/bergeron-centre-york-university.

“Publication- Zas.” ZAS Architects + Interiors. Accessed August 26, 2021. https://www.zasa.com/bergeron-centre-for-engineering-excellence-york-university/eqd7xx0kg2ta9mcpa2fh2wk64zxjzl.

Valenzuela, Karen. “The Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence / ZAS Architects.” ArchDaily. ArchDaily, December 22, 2015. https://www.archdaily.com/778905/the-bergeron-centre-for-engineering-excellence-zas-architects.

York University’s Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence. YouTube. YouTube, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdPiJjRWjq8.

Project Title: Bergeron Centre for Engineering Excellence 
Artists: ZAS Architects
Year: 2015

Place: North York, Ontario

scroll to top