University Boulevard is now considered the open space jewel of the UBC campus and while it has played a long and important role throughout campus history, it is now being redeveloped to reaffirm its place as the gateway and social heart of the university community in conjunction with many new project initiatives that have unfolded over the past decade, . A strong landscape aesthetic combined with sustainable approaches to storm water management and carefully selected material choices has resulted in a memorable place that will serve UBC for decades to come.
Prior to its redevelopment, University Boulevard had become an undefined mix of historic Beaux Arts remnants, parking lots and streets. PFS Studio has reinvented University Boulevard as the campus’s primary pedestrian promenade and activated social space. The first key move transformed a large parking area at the entrance to campus into a grand stormwater remediation terrace. More than a visible expression of the University’s commitment to sustainable best practices, the stormwater terraces have become a multifunctional gathering place and an oasis of tranquility between busy pedestrian routes, incorporating public art and dramatic night lighting.
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), National Urban Design Award, 2006
Photos by Sara Smallenberg, Krista Jahnke + PFS Studio