Stantec Architecture / 3XN
According to their website, “Stantec Architecture and 3XN Architects, together, bring an outstanding depth of relevant experience, significant international design achievements and a very strong Vancouver based “capacity to perform” to this project. Integrating world caliber Design, rigorous Danish Sustainable Design and LEEF Certification experience with Vancouver depth of experience and resources and a commitment to ongoing work together, we are a “naturally” integrated team-we’ll poised to deliver an outstanding, innovative and ground breaking-sustainable SUB Renewal building design.”
The first thing that needs to be mentioned about this collaboration is their sick website. It is by far the coolest website out of the seven architects so kudos for that. They also seem to be lacking on the facebook and twitter front.
Their powerpoint presentation was also pretty slick and awesome. One of their points was that the architects can influence the behaviour of the users of the building. They believe that sustainability is not about telling the users what to do but by influencing the behaviour of the users. They emphasized their familiarity and comfort with technology, something that can only help with our project. Something that impressed me about this group was that they looked at the building surrounding the new SUB site and looked for some source of waste energy that we could utilize. They identified the pool as that source of energy.
Consultation and Communication
They plan on continuing to develop the website to include more social parts which will encourage interaction. They also discussed at length the different types of interactive installations they hope to put up in the current SUB during the design stage in order for students to provide feedback. This partnership’s speciality seems to lie in the different interactive media, social and playful interaction and also different 3D scenarios they hope to bring to our project. This is different then anything any of the other firms have offered. They also hope that all these interactive displays can be incorporated into the new building.
The best thing about this team is the fact that they have members who are familiar with Vancouver’s environment and also members who are from Copenhagen who will be able to make our building stand out.
There were points in the presentation where it felt like S+3XN were molding our project to fit the projects they’ve done in the past, not the other way around. From what I understand, neither firms have done any projects at UBC Vancouver (Stantec has done two buildings at UBC Okanagan). While I am super impressed by the interactive displays and other shenanigans that are being proposed, I can’t help but wonder if they are actually going to engage students or if it will just make it seem like they’ve made an attempt.
I really enjoyed this presentation; it was awesome to see a firm really try something different technologically when it comes to student consultation. They also proposed some kind of educational process during handover of the building, something to just explain how to use and work the building to ensure that users are getting full use out of it. With all of that into consideration, I don’t know how comfortable I am with their lack of experience on campus and with UBC PT. It is going to be an intense project with the sheer volume of stakeholders and the partnership between the AMS and UBC. It is going to be extremely important in this particular project for our architects to be able to stand up for the AMS and go to bat for us against UBC PT if the times called for it. I am skeptical that this firm will be able to deliver on that level.