In 1965, the City of Guelph could not handle the planned growth in student population with students having difficulty finding accommodation due to a housing shortage. To deal with the situation, the university planned to build a high capacity, tall residence adjacent to the entrance loop off Stone Road. When John Andrews was hired to do the design, however, he proposed a megastructure “walkup” eliminating the need for elevators, which he believed were a deterrent to social interaction. For Andrews social needs took precedence over architectural determinants.
This project was the first time Andrews faced the problem of providing an environment sympathetic to individual needs while also trying to solve the problem of mass accommodation. Andrews was very deliberate about creating the maximum number of choices, crossroads and possibilities for socialization between students. The over-all configuration was meant to optimize these factors. By locating ‘houses’ along the ‘streets’ he attempted to create an enclosed urban neighbourhood that was protected from the harsh Canadian weather.