Winner announced for UBC’s University Boulevard competition

After a six month competition process, the University of British Columbia (UBC) has chosen Santa Monica’s Moore Ruble Yudell Architects and Planners (MRY) and Vancouver’s Hughes Condon Marler: Architects (HCMA)–a.k.a. Team A– as the team that will redesign University Boulevard and create a gateway and new social heart for UBC. The campus community also voted the winning team as their favourite design by an overwhelming 79 per cent.

“We are absolutely thrilled by this outcome,” said Dennis Pavlich, Chair of the jury and UBC Vice-President, External and Legal Affairs. “The jury’s decision reflects a thoughtful and professional review of all the three submissions–each unique and daring. Team A stood out for its exceptional richness and vibrancy. The university community thought so too.”

“Moore Ruble Yudell together with and Hughes Condon Marler make a world-class team. Their submission offers the most energetic, creative and compelling scenario for a vital entry onto the campus and a lively University Square, while stressing budget compliance,” said Pavlich.

The competition jury – consisting of architects Arthur Erickson, Vancouver; Moshe Safdie, Boston/Jerusalem; Elizabeth Plater-Zyberk, Miami; Edward Jones, London; William Valentine, San Francisco; and six UBC representatives – concluded that Team A best addressed the functional program requirements and the spirit of University Boulevard.

Team A’s design proposes a series of new buildings and public spaces that link existing and new facilities. While positioning new buildings within the existing architectural and landscape context, it features a large glass canopy above University Square. A sheltered area links the underground transit station with new student and university-related facilities, including several retail spaces, university housing, administrative offices, and the existing Student Union Building and Aquatic Centre.

Team A’s scheme stresses pedestrian links between the University Boulevard Neighbourhood and the entire campus via the Main Mall and East Mall – in particular to the Student Union Building, the new Ike Barber Learning Centre, and the medical and research sciences precinct to the south.

The jury felt the small scale of the buildings and their varied geometry create a pedestrian-friendly town centre that suits the traditional activities of a university community and will attract visitors to the campus.

“The AIBC supports and encourages architectural design competitions as a vehicle for the introduction of diverse and creative solutions in the built environment,” said Stuart Howard, President of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia.

“The UBC competition allowed for a wide response from the architectural community. The multiple stage nature of the competition allowed UBC to receive the best designs from qualified participants,” said Howard.

Chris Fillingham, FRAIC, President of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, said, “The RAIC was pleased to announce the launch of the University Boulevard Architectural Competition during its annual gathering in Quebec City and to see it come to closure with an announcement of the winner at its Festival in Edmonton.”

Integral to UBC’s long-term strategy is the creation of a complete and sustainable community on campus, University Town. University Town will be an academically and culturally rich collection of university neighbourhoods supporting the academic core as the primary intellectual, social and economic centre. University Boulevard is one of eight distinct neighbourhoods within UBC’s University Town.

UBC is a leading university in Canada, one of the world’s finest academic and research institutions, and is home to 40,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It has been consistently rated among the top 50 of the world’s best universities.

To view the full jury commendation please visit:

For further information on the winning team please visit: and

For further information on University Town please visit: