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University of Waterloo, Stratford Digital Media Lab
University of Waterloo, Stratford Digital Media Lab University of Waterloo, Stratford Digital Media Lab University of Waterloo, Stratford Digital Media Lab

University of Waterloo, Stratford Digital Media Lab

Stratford, Ontario


University of Waterloo


ZAS Architects Inc.

Project Completion Date

September, 2012

Type of Contract

Design Build

Project Value



The University of Waterloo at Stratford (Waterloo Stratford Campus) is a leading innovator in undergraduate and graduate instruction, new media research and industry-academic-creative collaboration.  The campus, built on a key site in downtown Stratford, is accessible to the public and combines learning, research and commercialization initiatives.  The first building for Waterloo Stratford Campus houses instructional, research, and team collaborative spaces.  It is the heart of a new campus and includes conference facilities and a commercial incubator.  It emphasizes digital media, content creation, project-based learning and technologically-enabled collaboration.  Waterloo Stratford Campus is a global institution, engaging both virtually and through on site conferences with advanced partners around the world.  The Waterloo Stratford Campus models through its teaching and research approaches, its public profile, its collaborative/team culture and its facilities the latest thinking about the engagement of the academy with its community---government, business, the arts; locally, nationally and internationally.  In brief, it brings together the very best characteristics of the University of Waterloo and embeds them in a campus designed from the outset to serve the needs of students and researchers in the 21st Century.

The facility provides spaces for teaching, and research for the UW Digital Media Program.  The programs operate with partnerships from business, government and the university.

Participants from all three areas of partnership are represented through technical expertise sharing, influence on program direction, supporting project specific research, and funding.  Participation from the outside community is in the form of events, conferences, and displays.


The facilities primary users are students, faculty and staff from the University of Waterloo.  Technology partners, outside consultants, collaborators and lectures also contribute.  This facility provides space for approximately 300 students and 35 faculty and staff members.

The students and researchers work within classrooms, project rooms, meeting rooms and collaboration spaces.  The media lab supports administrative and technical functions.  Educational activities in the facility includes traditional classroom functions, group project work, independent project work, research, interaction with outside experts, and non traditional classroom functions.

The facilities hosts conferences, exhibits and community outreach programs.  To accommodate the wide variety of users and activities the atrium / exhibit space, classrooms, project rooms, and offices are designated as multipurpose.

The project accommodates the programmatic elements on three floors in one building.  These elements include:

  • Office Space (on all three stories)
  • Classroom, Project Rooms, Collaboration Space (on all three stories)
  • Event Space (on first storey)
  • Mechanical Penthouse