UBC selects design team for new Integrated Planning and Design Facility

The University of British Columbia has announced the selection of a multi-faceted team to steer the design and construction of a new facility that will enhance integrated teaching, learning and research in planning, architecture and landscape architecture.


Chosen from a shortlist of four firms was the joint venture of Vancouver’s Shape Architecture, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios from the UK, and PWL Partnership Landscape Architects from Vancouver. The three other competing firms were: OMA with CEI Architecture; Patkau Architects; and Teeple Architects with Proscenium Interiors. Led by principals Nick Sully, Alec Smith, Peter Clegg, Jo Wright, Derek Lee and Margot Long, the winning team will be producing a feasibility study and the anticipated full design for the UBC Integrated Planning and Design Facility. Joining the core design team is Andrew Harrison (DEGW), a leading expert in learning environments as well as Patrick Bellew from Atelier 10, consultants in sustainable design.


The facility will house the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) and the School of Community and Regional Planning (SCARP). Currently, the two schools are located in scattered spaces around campus, which creates challenges for interdisciplinary learning and collaborative projects. In addition to accommodating SALA and SCARP, the feasibility study will also include the School of Art History, Visual Art and Theory at the University of British Columbia. Encompassing an estimated 6,000 square metres, the preliminary construction budget is approximately $16 million.


The new facility is planned as a complex infill within the existing MacKenzie Arts Precinct. This northwestern zone of the campus includes the Lasserre Building (current home of the architecture programs in SALA), Frederick Wood Theatre, Belkin Gallery and Music Building, all grouped around an underutilized plaza space.


Because of the diverse client group and physical constraints of the project, the SHAPE / FCBS / PWL team has proposed a conceptual approach and a unifying theme based on the ambition to privilege ideas as the common ground between disciplines. Their conceptual approach grows from a dual understanding of energy as both a metaphor for human activity and as a literal commodity characterized by its increasing scarcity and damaging impact on the biosphere in the form of carbon. The unifying theme has been titled “The Space Between” and is intended to refer to both the shared interests of landscape architecture, planning and architecture and the public space of the facility and the arts precinct as the literal forum in which a shared pedagogy might emerge.


“The selection committee commends SHAPE / FCBS / PWL for thoughtfully assembling a team that addresses the specific needs of the user groups and developing a thorough and inclusive stakeholder consultation process,” says Gerry McGeough, University Architect. “The team has a wealth of experience and talent, including demonstrated capability to infill historical sites sensitively, dynamically link interior and exterior spaces and create compelling learning environments.”


In addition to McGeough, the selection committee consisted of representatives from the student body, SALA, SCARP, the Faculty of Arts and UBC Properties Trust. The committee members evaluated the firms using specific criteria under the categories of design, process, implementation, team composition, submission and fee.


For more information about SALA and SCARP, please visit www.scarp.ubc.ca and www.sala.ubc.ca.