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University of British Columbia Public Realm

PFS Studio conducted an urban design study of UBC’s Main Mall – the central spine and primary pedestrian corridor on the Point Grey campus. The study reviewed the history and evolution of the Mall as a Beaux-Arts ordering device to understand its heritage character and design intent. The study was then overlaid with current campus policies and principles, land uses, and an examination of the function of this pedestrian artery within current and future campus planning considerations. A range of options for the Main Mall were prepared and evaluated with respect to these complex criteria.

An opportunity to rebuild the south end of UBC’s Main Mall arose with the development of a new community centre immediately to the south. An earlier 1992 Campus Plan had established an intent for the south end of the Main Mall to terminate in an open space that would widen out from a pinch point created by two new academic buildings. However, since the 1992 Plan, the lands to the south changed to a mix of residential, civic, and recreational uses. PFS Studio’s design for this area consequently readapted the program to bridge between the academic and residential communities that intersect at this place.

Photos by Hover Collective, Sara Smallenberg + PFS Studio