UAlberta Focus: Unique Buildings

The University of Alberta’s history spans over 100 years. In that time, many unique and beautiful buildings have been built around the city’s campuses. Explore some of the unique buildings that exist at the four campuses of the U of A.    


1.     Butterdome

Photo credit: Maryn Sommerfeldt

The Butterdome – officially labelled at the Universiade Pavilion – is bright yellow in colour and robustly rectangular in shape, giving it the loving comparison of resembling a stick of butter. The Butterdome is a multi-purpose arena at the University’s Main Campus. It was originally built for the 1983 Summer World University Games. The building is often used for sporting events – like track and field, gymnastics, and wrestling – but is also used for certain graduations, craft fairs, and campus events.

2.     ECHA

Photo credit: Maryn Sommerfeldt

The Edmonton Clinic Health Academy (ECHA) is a relatively new building on campus, located right across the street from the University Hospital in the medical sector of North campus. This facility is accomplished through a partnership of Alberta Health Services, the Government of Alberta, and the University itself, which aims to deliver state-of-the-art health sciences education and research. The building is built with lots of coloured glass, transitioning in a mosaic of summer to autumn colours frequently seen in Edmonton. The inside of the building is also colour-coded, with hallways being given a specific colour, turning your walk through the building into a vibrant one!

3.    PAW Centre

Photo credit: Maryn Sommerfeldt; New Trail Magazine

The Physical Activity and Wellness (PAW) Centre was recently completed in 2015 as one of the most modern fitness facilities on any post-secondary campus in North America. As a part of the Van Vliet Sports Complex, the nearly-183,000 ft2 facility includes student lounges, a fitness centre on two floors, and a two-storey climbing facility. A life-size bear sculpture stands in front of the uniquely shaped climbing facility, waiting for the perfect photo opportunity.

4.    La Cite Francophone - Campus Saint-Jean

Photo credit: University of Alberta

Campus Saint-Jean is the University of Alberta’s French campus in Edmonton. Located 10 minutes away from main campus, students can get shuttle rides from one campus to the other. La Cité Francophone is a hub for French culture. Located within its glass walls are a University bookstore, classrooms, theatres, and restaurant, Café Bicyclette. Residing within the Francophone quarters of the city, it is a perfect exposure to art and culture.

5.     Founder's Hall - Augustana Campus

Photo credit: Static Flickr

Founder’s Hall was the very first building at the Augustana Campus in 1912, back before it was associated with the University of Alberta. The iconic building has served over the years as a space for administration, dining, classes, residences and more. In September 2015, the building underwent extensive renovations to create an updated space for students and administration, while maintaining the outside façade of “Old Main”.

6.    Enterprise Square

Photo credit: Clark Builders

What was once the grand historic Hudson’s Bay Building is now the University of Alberta’s Enterprise Square building. While the outside façade still resembles the famous building (the stone carvings still exist), the inside is a complete modern renovation to serve U of A students and faculty. This Downtown Campus now includes the Faculty of Extension, the School of Business, Administrative offices, and an Art Gallery, which is used to display UAlberta’s museum collections and feature local artists. Accessible from Main Campus by underground train (of which connects directly to Enterprise Square from the train station), students can come for lunch, additional classes, or to enjoy the art and downtown culture.


7.    CCIS

Photo credit: Maryn Sommerfeldt

The first of its kind in Canada, the Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS) is an interdisciplinary approach to science through the interaction of scientists, researches, and students. Filled with lecture halls and teaching labs, the building offers students an unprecedented advantage in their learning at the U of A. Designed in a futuristic, modern concept, this building is a perfect place to study and hang out between classes. It opens right onto the Main Quad, making it easily accessible to restaurants and school supplies in SUB and Student Union activities.




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Article by Maryn Sommerfeldt

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