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UBC Reports | Vol. 50 | No. 9 | Oct. 7, 2004

A New Entrance for UBC -- by Design

International architectural competition will help

By Brad Foster

International architects and jurists will help the UBC community create a new social heart for the campus.

UBC will soon be inviting the world’s best architects to participate in an architectural competition that will redefine UBC’s main entrance on University Boulevard.

“UBC has always lacked a memorable entrance,” said Dennis Pavlich, UBC’s Vice President of External and Legal Affairs. “In the words of Gertrude Stein, ‘There is no there there’.

“This competition will put the ‘there’ into the overall vision for a memorable and complete University Town community that is emerging at the University of British Columbia, and in doing so will create a vibrant academic village for the campus.”

The competition jury will consist of internationally acclaimed architects including Arthur Erickson (Canada), Moshe Safdie (USA), Leon Krier (France) and Demitri Porphyrios (England), as well as UBC student, faculty and staff representatives who will have the responsibility of assessing the submissions of the final three competitors and ensuring the designs serve the broad interests of the university community.

The design competition scope encompasses University Boulevard from Wesbrook Mall to Main Mall and asks architects to envision five building sites, which will include a new University Square, a new Greenway and all the associated pedestrian connections between the new and existing buildings in this area.

The new centrepiece of the University Boulevard neighbourhood will be University Square, located on the old Bus Loop site at University Boulevard. While the design of the transit station is excluded from the competition, final submissions will be required to make recommendations regarding entrances and exits based on pedestrian flow and new building locations.

University Square will serve as a hub for the campus with a major public space above a transit station accommodating 53,000 transit trips a day, and providing university-related shops and services for students, faculty, staff and campus residents.

Campus participation will be an important element of the competition, Pavlich said. UBC students, faculty and staff will be invited to take an active part in campus community roundtables at the shortlisting stage of the competition in November 2004. Similarly, finalists’ proposals will be put on display for public viewing, and a campus community questionnaire and poll in March 2005 will help to inform the final juried selection of the winning entry in April 2005.

For further information on the competition visit www.universitytown.ubc.ca or call the University Town hotline at 604.822.6400.

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Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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