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Photo credit: Nikolas Koenig


Thanks to a generous $8-million gift from the Richard M. Ivey Family, the Richard Ivey Building integrates the best in green building, design, and construction. The 270,000-square-foot facility – built at a cost of more than $110 million – has achieved the Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification from the Canada Green Building Council. [1]

A truly great school of business has three dimensions: it must attract, it must inspire, and it must build a rich sense of community. Therefore, when Hariri Pontarini Architects (HPA) was chosen—from an international competition— to design the new Richard Ivey Building for the Ivey Business School at Western University, the goal was to create an environment that would enable the school to be competitive on the global stage while also celebrating the university’s Gothic architecture and heritage, and adding a signature building to the City of London. (…)

The three storey structure uses a central quadrangle as the primary organizing element, with a full-height Great Hall anchoring the main circulation. The distribution of twenty case-study classrooms and adjacent breakout rooms around this central quadrangle encourages interaction and collaboration both in- and-out of the classroom, and provides a powerful architectural armature for the Ivey Program and an organizing device for the Ivey community. (…)

Inspired by the City of London’s reputation as the “Forest City”, the main approach to the building is lined with trees. The existing landscape is preserved and enhanced, particularly the sweeping arc of trees along Brescia Road. Western Road is reinforced by the deliberate siting of the building, while its fast moving nature is also acknowledged by a stone garden wall that creates a buffer. The remaining perimeter landscape of the building is serene and is an ideal space for “thinking in motion” and mind clearing breaks. Low, cut-stone walls in front of the main entrance ramp set off the rough stone of the amphitheatre enclosure and another garden wall protects the dining pavilion. Two smaller protected gardens extend from the Reading Room and the Dining Pavilion. The idyllic and peaceful campus landscape is a contrast to the livelier interior of the Richard Ivey Building.

Strategies and various technologies were employed to achieve a sustainable design. Low-emitting argon windows in thermal frames, lighting occupancy sensors, and heat recovery on ventilated air help improve energy performance by 51%. Efficient washroom features reduce potable water use by 58% and landscaping that favours native species are part of a strategy that extends a “Forest City” sensibility across the entire site. The building is registered and is expected to achieve LEED Gold certification.

A secure and healthy workplace includes a compact plan with controlled entry points and access to a courtyard. The quadrangle layout of the building maximizes natural light—75% of spaces have access to daylight and operable windows allow cross-ventilation throughout. During construction, 81% of waste was diverted from landfill.  Full barrier-free design makes all building areas and landscape paths equally accessible and enjoyable to all users. [2]


[1]      “The Richard Ivey Building.” Ivey Business School. Accessed July 27, 2021. https://www.ivey.uwo.ca/about/campuses/richard-ivey-building/.

[2]       “Richard Ivey Building / HARIRI Pontarini Architects.” ArchDaily. ArchDaily, August 21, 2015. https://www.archdaily.com/772124/richard-ivey-building-hariri-pontarini-architects.

Additional information:

“Hariri Pontarini Architects Design New Richard IVEY School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.” Canadian Architect, September 9, 2009. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/hariri-pontarini-architects-design-new-richard-ivey-school-of-business-at-the-university-of-western/.

Hariri Pontarini Architects. Accessed July 27, 2021. https://hariripontarini.com/projects/richard-ivey-building/.

“Richard Ivey BUILDING.” Architect, September 8, 2016. https://www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/richard-ivey-building_o.

“Richard Ivey BUILDING.” The American Institute of Architects. Accessed July 27, 2021. https://www.aia.org/showcases/16651-richard-ivey-building:2976.

Weder, Adele. “Ivey League IDEALS.” Canadian Architect, June 30, 2014. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/ivey-league-ideals/.

Project Title: Richard Ivey Building, University of Western Ontario
Artists:  Hariri Pontarini Architects
Year: 2013

Place: London, Ontario

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