the world's most visited architecture website

Sign up now and start saving and organizing your favorite architecture projects and photos

Sign up now to save and organize your favorite architecture projects


Find the most inspiring products for your projects in our Product Catalog.

Find the most inspiring products in our Product Catalog.


Get the ArchDaily Chrome Extension and be inspired with every new tab. Install here »


All over the world, architects are finding cool ways to re-use run-down old buildings. Click here to see the best in Refurbishment Architecture.

Want to see the coolest refurbishment projects? Click here.


Immerse yourself in inspiring buildings with our selection of 360 videos. Click here.

See our immersive, inspiring 360 videos. Click here.

Navigate articles using your keyboard
  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. University
  4. Canada
  5. Perkins+Will
  6. 2016
  7. Orchard Commons, University of British Columbia / Perkins+Will

Orchard Commons, University of British Columbia / Perkins+Will

  • 17:00 - 7 December, 2017
Orchard Commons, University of British Columbia / Perkins+Will
Orchard Commons, University of British Columbia / Perkins+Will, © Michael Elkan
© Michael Elkan

© Michael Elkan © Michael Elkan © Michael Elkan © Michael Elkan + 17

  • Architects

  • Location

    6363 Agronomy Rd, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
  • Architect in Charge

    Derek Newby
  • Design Team

    A. Atkinson, K. Baba, A. Baldwin, N. Bellefleur, S. Bergen, K. Bremner, S. Brent, A. Chmiel, J. Deutscher, S. Diaz, D. Dove, J. Foit, B. Gasmena, H. Grusko, D. Ho, G. Lim, I. Neven, D. Newby, C. Rivard, K. Rylands, M. Soderlund, E. Wolpin
  • Area

    41620.0 m2
  • Project Year

  • Photographs

  • Client

    University of British Columbia
  • Structural

    Glotman Simpson
  • Mechanical

  • Electrical

  • Envelope

  • Civil

    Kamps Engineering
  • Acoustic

    Daniel Lyzun & Associates
  • Cost

    SSA Quantity Surveyors
  • Code

    GHL Consultants
  • Traffic

    Bunt & Associates
  • Geotech

    GeoPacific Consultants
  • More Specs Less Specs

Text description provided by the architects. Orchard Commons is the second of five mixed-use ‘hubs’ planned for University of British Columbia’s (UBC) Point Grey campus. Combining student housing, academic uses, and amenities into one facility, the intent is to invite diversity and social connection by bringing more activity and life to the heart of the campus.

© Michael Elkan
© Michael Elkan

Drawing students from around the globe, Orchard Commons is home to a diverse group of first-year students, most of whom will be living away from home for the first time. As such, the mandate to cultivate positive social interactions through the fabric of the facility was key.

© Michael Elkan
© Michael Elkan

These factors shaped the planning and a range of ‘social spaces’ have been integrated, including three-storey interconnected lounges in the two residential towers. Transparency, daylight, and wood are the prime expressions that support these spaces.

Level 1
Level 1
Level 2
Level 2

At nearly a half-million square feet, Orchard Commons will provide 1,048 residence beds and dining facilities, with academic and administrative space for UBC Vantage College, an innovative program for international students that combines first-year studies with academic English programming. Additional amenities include a daycare with outdoor play area, gym, and creative study spaces.

© Michael Elkan
© Michael Elkan

Embracing a generous outdoor public realm, the facility connects seamlessly with the campus’ network of pedestrian paths. An outdoor classroom and social seating invite interaction and connection fostering a vibrant public space for all.

© Michael Elkan
© Michael Elkan

The facility is registered LEED Gold integrating a number of sustainability features including a campus scalable district energy utility, rainwater collection for landscape irrigation, and a high-performance thermal envelope.

© Michael Elkan
© Michael Elkan

The unique façade of the residential towers provides a defining identity for the facility on campus. The shapes of the precast concrete cladding were optimized using computational techniques to maximize repetition while maintaining an interesting appearance while meeting UBC’s sustainable energy goals. Computational optimization resulted in a wall system that was very cost-effective and accelerated the schedule.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Orchard Commons, University of British Columbia / Perkins+Will" 07 Dec 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884