Bunting Coady Architects

Bunting Coady had the pleasure of being first architects to present to the students this afternoon. They touched on a variety of different topics and were very through with their presentation. According to their website, “We create living, breathing buildings®. Bunting Coady Architects is an innovative practice with a global reputation for creating high performance buildings and sustainable architecture. We have won over 50 awards for design quality and building performance and have more square footage of LEED® NC Gold certified institutional and commercial projects than any other firm in North America.”

Life Sciences Centre at UBC

Life Sciences Centre at UBC

Social Media


So, Bunting Coady are pretty on top of their social media. I like that they are making sure that they have a presence on facebook and twitter. It is pretty evident that the firm started the firm started using these avenues of communication in preparation for the SUB project. While they aren’t completely developed yet, I like that Bunting Coady have made the effort to make sure they aren’t missing anything. I don’t see it as a problem at all that there isn’t much going on right now, I have faith that if they are chosen, they will certainly be beefing all of this stuff up.


Bunting Coady’s approach to the presentation was not to show the audience slide upon slide of buildings they have done in the past but rather to explain their thought process and how they arrive at the buildings that they have built. I feel that Bunting and Coady get that the AMS values the process just as much as the end result and I think that Bunting Coady feel the same way. They also had pamphlets for each audience member that is basically a copy of their presentation board. They spoke on the integrated design process and how they like to integrate art into the building. Natural daylight, plants and natural ventilation are also big for Bunting Coady. I like that Bunting Coady get what the AMS is looking for in terms of a Student Union Building. What they said about commuter students and how the SUB should be a home away from home for them was really important. It felt like the team had a really good sense of what its like to use the current building (because from what I understand, most of them have spent time as a student here at UBC)

The Team

I like that the entire team was present to answer questions from the audience. Bringing all the senior members of their team shows their dedication to our project, something that I feel is so important when our building will be a huge part of our organization’s future.  The fact that they have a student component on their team just to make absolute sure that they are connecting fully and properly with the students is thoughtful and scores them brownie points.

Consultation, Charrettes and Studios

This was probably my favourite part of the presentation. I love love love that Bunting Coady want to continue the kind of work we’ve been doing with the curriculum. I love the idea of incorporating our student building into our student’s learning. This scored them major bonus points with me. I also like that Bunting Coady seem to have already done consultation. While it was unclear if it was consultation that the firm took the initiative to do conduct or if this was consultation that the SUB team did, I like that they paid attention.


I think I would liked to have seen the team expand on some of their ideas and some of the methods they would use to consult our students. Integrated Design Process is going to be tricky for our student population and I wanted to know if they had any innovative ways to combat that. They also really pushed the whole “listening to students” aspect of their team and while that is so important, I think I would like to know how they will help guide and configure the questions they ask students. It’ll be difficult for students to just give them ideas without some framework and I would have liked to know how Bunting Coady would have done that. There was also an audience question about how Bunting Coady would have worked with all the different user groups involved in this project. They choose to focus on how they would work with UBCPT and MHPM when I would have liked to have heard about how they would have worked with the numerous student user groups we have as well as deal with the Executives of the AMS changing over every year.


I was really impressed with Bunting Coady. I liked their clean approach to our project and the student involvement that will be necessary. Their presentation didn’t feel overproduced and it felt genuine. Speaking wih Teresa Coady after the presentation, my question to her was why they were the best firm for our project. Her answer was simple. They would be the best because they know the campus and they know the way it functions. We would not get a building that works for another campus or another climate, we would get one that works for the AMS and Vancouver. My favourite answer to an audience question came from the intern architect. One of the students expressed frustration with the random leaf piles that Plant Ops like to leave in the courtyard. The student wanted to know how things like that would be taken into consideration in the new SUB. The intern’s response was that “We will make a leaf piling place”. I think that sums up Bunting Coady pretty well. They will listen to students and their concerns, and make sure to address them in some form.


2 Comments so far

  1. teresa coady on April 7, 2010 2:52 pm

    Hey Crystal I really appreciate the thoughtfulness of your review and the fact that you were obviously taking copious notes! It makes all the rehearsing that the team put into this worthwhile. We are addressing your criticisms now and hope to get things right for you and the students at UBC. Its good to have someone like you making these assessments on behalf of the students – very organized and together. Hopefully this will encourage more people to make an informed vote! Thanks again.

  2. Phil on April 12, 2010 9:33 am

    A big thanks to all the students who came to our presentation last Tuesday! We just want to say how excited we are about the prospects of working on this project alongside everyone at UBC and the AMS. We would love to hear your thoughts and ideas, and we welcome everyone to visit our facebook page to start a discussion with our architects/designers and your peers.

    You can access our facebook page by
    copying this link into your internet address bar:


    Bunting Coady was founded to bring environmental sustainability and design excellence to British Columbia, and we would love the opportunity to work alongside UBC students to once again make this vision a reality with the new Student Union Building.

    Best of luck during your exam period!

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