C-Shore, University of British Columbia

C-Shore is a pavilion designed and constructed by graduate students at the University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, led by Associate Professor Joseph Dahmen.

Photo credit: Krista Jahnke photography

The project relates material ecologies to design poetics. Building on Peter Zumthor’s design for the Swiss Sound Pavilion at Expo 2000, nine architecture and two landscape architecture graduate students devloped C-Shore using cedar timber milled from native trees felled during site preparation at a nearby residential construction site.

The pavilion provides a multi-sensory space of respite and relaxation at the heart of the busy university campus.

The porous wall shoring ensures adequate airflow to dry the freshly milled cedar timbers under ambient conditions, generating a cool microclimate infused with the scent of drying cedar.

Photo credit: Krista Jahnke photography
Photo credit: Krista Jahnke photography

The opacity of the walls varies with the angle of view, creating dynamic interactions between interior and exterior characterized by variegated bands of daylight and shadow.

The pavilion interior resonates with sounds recorded in the forest ecosystem before, during, and after tree felling took place, drawing links between the pavilion and the vanished ecosystem that provided the materials to build it.

It is also secured with an adjustable clamping system that accommodates the shrinkage as the timbers dry, allowing for efficient disassembly at the end of the project.

Photo credit: Krista Jahnke photography

After three years, the pavilion will be disassembled and the dried timber will be provided to local primary schools, where it will be used to construct planter boxes to teach ecology.

C-Shore addresses architecture’s complicit relationship with resource consumption by highlighting ecological origins, using material flows as design opportunities across full lifecycles.

Expanding the boundaries of design to include upstream material processes and end-of-life considerations has the potential to deepen understanding of architectural materiality, transforming items selected from cut sheets and catalogues into materials inextricably linked to environments, geographies, and processes.

C-Shore was made possible with the generous support of the SEEDS Sustainability Program, UBC Campus and Community Planning, UBC Sustainability Initiative, UBC Properties Trust, Alma Mater Society, Heatherbrae Builders, MyTiCon Connectors, UBC Building Operations, UBC Department of Geography, Centre for Advanced Wood Processing, UBC Parking and Access Services, and UBC Wellbeing.

Photo credit: Joseph Dahmne

Project Credits

Design Team: Brandon Da Costa, Marion Gelinas, Jose Gottret, Emily Kazanowski, Sarah Klym, Karen Lai, Jia Liu, Jesse Martyn, Zoe Pierce, Leah Porter, Chris Walker | Clients: UBC Campus and Community Planning | Fabrication Team: Laurence Crouzet, Emily Kazanowski, Sarah Klym, Karen Lai, Jia Liu, Jesse Martyn, Chris Walker, Hussam Zbeeb, Bahar Ziraknejad | Instructor: Joseph Dahmen, Associate Professor, UBC | Technical Instructors: Graham Entwistle, Adriana Ermi-Sprung | Engineering: Bush, Bohlman & Partners LLP