+VG was retained to design a major renovation and significant addition to the historically significant Victoria School, a Richardsonian Romanesque schoolhouse constructed in the late 1800’s.

The program was for adaptive re-use and an extensive addition to house the Smith School of Business – an innovative education facility for the 21st Century. +VG was commissioned to undertake the work as Prime Consultant. Phase I of the project integrated the 4,000 m2 Victoria School and a 6,500 m2 addition as the new consolidated home for the School.

The project introduced a new skylit atrium along the east side of the heritage building allowing the building’s east façade to be exposed within the new public space of the facility. Completely new mechanical systems were introduced and included the use of spare heating/cooling capacity from an adjacent campus building to serve the building’s needs. The new facility included seven tiered lecture halls, and two classrooms, student break-out rooms, PhD and MSC program space, faculty offices, a computer lab, a video conference facility, and administrative space. The project was successfully completed on time and on budget, and won three awards of excellence.

Phase II was completed in September 2014, which includes a west addition that creates a large forecourt at the interface of the University and the school itself. A glazed interior gathering public space, “the Commons”, overlooks the forecourt. The intent is to engage the school with the larger university constituency. Phase II also included two tiered 80 seat lecture rooms, a flexible classroom for 80 that can open up to the Commons for special events, additional program spaces, faculty offices, and underground parking for 90 cars. Although Phase II was designed to achieve LEED Silver certification, the project was awarded LEED NC Gold certification.


Kingston, Ontario


2014 (Phase II); 2002 (Phase I)


100,000 ft² (PII); 110,000 ft² (PI)


Renovation & Addition


David Whittaker


2008 Liveable City Award
City of Kingston

2003 Architectural Excellence Award (Honourable Mention)
Ontario Association of Architects (OAA)

2002 Award of Excellence
Frontenac County Heritage Foundation