Sharp & Thompson’s 1914 City Beautiful scheme established the basic structure of the UBC Vancouver Campus - photo courtesy of UBC Archives
UBC Reports | Vol. 52 | No. 11 | Nov. 2, 2006
Back to the Future: UBC Launches Next Community Planning Chapter
UBC is asking faculty, staff, students and residents for their views a new UBC Vancouver campus plan that will shape future land-use planning on UBC’s 404-hectare site. This is the sixth campus-wide planning exercise in the university’s history.
UBC’s planning history began back in 1913 when President Dr. Frank Wesbrook dreamt of creating the “Cambridge” of the Pacific. Wesbrook held an architectural competition, which was won handily by architects Sharp & Thompson with their City Beautiful vision. Despite only partial implementation of this plan — the Main Mall, University Boulevard, the East and West Malls, and the development blocks around the Library — it established a basic structure for the university, which continues to influence development of the campus.
Following the second World War, UBC (like all of North America) went through a significant expansion. A new campus plan was proposed in 1959, which focused on accomodating rapidly expanding faculties and our love affair with the automobile. At the time, architects were preoccupied with industrial efficiency reflected in the utilitarian approach to era buildings like the Buchanan Tower.
Another master plan was prepared in 1968 focusing mainly on land-use circluation and landscape. Its central theme was UBC as a “great and varied garden.” The partial implementation of this plan created patterns of cul-de-sacs.
The the current plan formed in 1992 included a set of strategies that allow sufficient felxibility to enable the campus to respond to its own evolution.
The new campus plan will be carried out in six phases over 18 months. The campus community will be asked to consider where the university should be heading in terms of the physical identity of the campus, its public realm, heritage, urban design, and social space for students, faculty, staff, alumni and residents.
Visit www.campusplan.ubc.ca for more information and to provide input.