ClientUBC Properties Trust
Engineers and Specialty ConsultantsGlotman Simpson (structural), MMM Group (mechanical), Stantec Consulting (electrical), Kamps Engineering (civil), Keyword Specifications Inc. (specifications), LMDG Consultants (code), Geopacific (geotechnical), Philips Farevaag Smallenberg (landscape), HCMA (environmental), RWDI/DLA (accoustic), Spratt Emanuel (envelope), UBC-AV (AV), Vertech Elevator Services Inc. (elevator), Bunt and Associates (waste management/traffic)
Text description provided by the architects. Since it's opening this summer, UBC's new Alumni Centre, despite its modest size and unusually challenging budget, has had a significant impact on life on campus for past, present and future alumni. The wholehearted embrace of the building has far exceeded the university’s and the community’s expectations.
The pavilion building was designed to reflect its distinct Pacific Northwest coast context and UBC's campus in particular. The frit glass exterior skin of the building changes dramatically from day to night, and from grey skies to sunshine. The service block that anchors the north-east quadrant of the building is clad in white shouldice concrete block to reference the extensive use of white brick on UBC's modernist campus. Local BC woods animate the interior and provide a material warmth in a cold grey climate. The project has been designed to achieve LEED Gold accreditation.
The design is a result of a broad consultative process that not only included university stakeholders, but also representatives of the Musqueam First Nation, on whose territory the campus is located. References to both the university and First Nation history have been carefully integrated into the architecture.
Gateway to the UBC Campus
Situated on Westbrook at East Mall, the Alumni Centre functions as both a welcome centre for the campus and from its upper levels, a viewing platform.
At grade it is highly transparent, porous, and animated featuring a café, fireplace lounge and library. A celebration hall with 360-views of the campus context, and meeting rooms occupy the second floor. The Board of Governors meeting room has pride of place on the third floor at the western tip of the building - with a spectacular view towards Main Mall and the heart of the campus.
The sleek white ceramic frit exterior of the pavilion building contrasts with the extensive use of local BC wood on the interior. Rough sawn red cedar is used on the ceilings, soffits and exterior cladding of the dramatic feature stair that connects all the building levels from the entrepreneurship@ubc hub in the day-lit basement culminating in a sky lounge on the third floor. The interior surfaces of the stairs are clad in highly durable Douglas fir.
The visitors' experience of the building is organized on the east-west axis linking the expansive view to the main campus to the west with an intimate experience of one of the campus' oldest elm trees that is located at the eastern end of the building. As one ascends the stairs from level to level, the visual connection with this magnificent tree changes till one reaches the sky lounge located level with the top branches.
Flexibility, durability and sustainability
All the public spaces are designed with a high degree of flexibility - the ground floor fireplace lounge, library, meeting room and café can all be interconnected for one large social event, or operate separately. The second floor celebration space for 300 can also be sub-divided to accommodate a multiplicity of uses.
Designed to meet a tight budget of $12.8 million, this 40,000 sf building incorporates highly durable and easily maintained materials, and has proven to withstand daily event use.
LEED Gold sustainable initiatives include optimized energy performance and daylighting, construction waste management, recycled materials, local materials, water-efficient landscaping and two charging stations for electrical cars.