Three architectural teams shortlisted for Emily Carr University’s new campus

The Emily Carr University of Art + Design Campus Redevelopment Project reached a critical milestone recently with the announcement of the three proponents shortlisted following the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to design, build, finance and maintain the new state-of-the-art campus at Great Northern Way in Vancouver.

Eight national and international proponent teams responded to the RFQ. Following evaluation, three teams were shortlisted: Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects, Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects (with Vancouver’s Chernoff Thompson Architects), and Toronto-based Zeidler Partnership Architects (with B+H Architects, a firm with an office in Vancouver).

A request for proposals (RFP) will be issued to the three companies in Fall 2013 and Emily Carr will award the contract in Summer 2014. Construction will begin in early Fall of 2014 and  the new university campus is expected to be completed in 2016.

“The diversity and calibre of all the proponents that submitted was very high and representative of some of the best national and international talent in their respective fields,” said Dr. Ron Burnett, President and Vice-Chancellor, Emily Carr University. “The three proponents chosen will have a very challenging and intriguing assignment to design, build, finance and maintain an  art and design school that  represents the creative campus of the future.”

“Announcing the three proponents is an exciting milestone as we move towards the  redevelopment of the Emily Carr University Art + Design Campus at its new site,” said Advanced Education Minister Amrik Virk. “Throughout British Columbia we are investing millions of dollars in new and upgraded post-secondary education facilities to benefit future generations of students and educators.”

The capital cost is up to $134 million for the project and will be provided by the BC government (up to $113 million) and the remainder through a capital campaign by Emily Carr.

Founded as the Vancouver School of Art in 1925, Emily Carr is the only specialized post-secondary institution in British Columbia offering programs in Fine Arts, Media Arts and Design exclusively. Emily Carr is one of only four such institutions in Canada, and is consistently recognized nationally and internationally for the excellence of its faculty, students and alumni. The new facilities for Emily Carr University will further BC’s reputation as a destination for world-class post-secondary education by allowing the university to enhance the education and skills training in media, design and art programs in ways that have not been possible due to site constraints of the current Granville Island campus.

The project site is situated at the Great Northern Way Campus, located at Great Northern Way and East 1st Avenue in Vancouver. The site of the new Emily Carr Facility comprises 3.4 acres west of the new Centre for Digital Media. The new building will be designed to LEED Gold standards, and will maximize the interior and exterior use of wood, in keeping with the BC government’s Wood First Act.

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