Hopefully by now, many of you will have watched the videos or read my articles about the 7 architects vying for our project. I tried to give a fair assessment of the architectural firms in my write ups in order to give the readers a chance to form their own opinions. I have been asked by many students to write an article about who I’m voting for and my reasoning behind it. I’ve hesitated to do this because I unsure if it would do more harm to the architect selection then it would do good. I’ve had the chance to talk to a few people who are more experienced and know a lot more about architects and I feel confident in my choices. I’d like to remind readers and students that this is my personal opinion and that at the end of the day, you should vote according to what you think. I can’t see it doing more harm then good.

Before I start, I want to speak a little as to why its so important to vote. The architectural firm that we pick will absolutely influence the way our building looks. While student consultation will help shape it, ultimately it will be up to the architects to bring our words and ideas to life. This is why its so important to take a little time to watch the videos of the presentations, read the firm profiles at the Ubyssey, (part 1 part 2) or my coverage (left column at the top of this page)! If you don’t take the time, the building could end up being something we don’t want.

Do you want this to be your SUB? (Don't laugh, Paint is hard to navigate)

Do you want this to be your SUB? (Don't laugh, Paint is hard to navigate)

So, without further ado, in alphabetical order..

Bing Thom Architects


I like BTA because I like their approach to architecture. The Chan is without a doubt one of my favourite buildings on campus and to have the architects that designed the Chan work on our project would be amazing. Another reason I like BTA is because I like their approach to consultation. They mentioned using play-doh to solicit feedback from kids in a library project they recently worked on. This shows me that they are able to identify and target an age group and use an age appropriate medium in order to consult with user groups. I think this is going to be so valuable to our project because we need architects who are willing to fine tune their consulting methods into such a way that most effectively gathers information from their target groups.



I like this partnership because I really liked their approach to architecture as well. Their identification of how a building should be like a city and also how they want to a build a building that we won’t be sick of in a 100 years really sold me. And how can we forget the design cube. I really hope that they follow through with that idea if chosen. Its partially why I think they are such a great firm. Yes, so I called them cheesy and flashy in my writeup but at the end of the day, its nice that they tried to appeal to students. While I wouldn’t want them to do that in consultations with students (because our students can see right through it) I like that they had personality and weren’t dull. I think they will do a great job if they were chosen as the architects, I would have no problem having them at the head.

Henriquez Partners/IBI

Picture 1

I like that this firm found a way to incorporate social initiatives into their Woodward building. While I don’t think they’ll have a similar opportunity with our project, it’ll be good to have a firm who will look for opportunities outside of the box. I think that they will be effective at going to bat for us if the occasion called for it. Their approach to architecture also really impressed me. They have a history of partnering together which and I loved their answer to one of the student questions. I think they are a great match for the AMS because they seem capable of balancing lots of different competing differences in user groups and partners.


2 Comments so far

  1. Maayan on April 15, 2010 12:10 am

    I gotta echo Jeff a few posts back in his comment.

    I’ve been reading the posts here with interest but at the end of the day (like right now) I can’t really remember anything that doesn’t sound the same. All the firms have nice portfolios, nice people, nice websites, and sustainability lingo down pat. They’ve mostly worked at UBC before and have some connection to UBC in their teams.

    We somehow need to cut through all of this and find out what WE want out of this. There’s plenty of money on the table here — a nice building with LEED certification is like rolling out of bed with last nights clothes on for this project. But if that’s not enough, students need to be more ambitious and ask these firms for more!! It’s easy to be complacent when everyone is offering such polished, good-looking, good-feeling stuff. Is there actual innovation and effort here somewhere?

  2. Phil on April 15, 2010 1:31 pm

    In response to your comment Maayan, I would like to expand on Bunting Coady Architects’ approach to the new SUB design, that may at least give UBC students an idea of how our firm is different from the rest.

    I can honestly say that our entire firm is extremely passionate about this opportunity, from the architects and designers to the admin. staff, principals, and even everyone’s children.

    We want so much to transfer this passion into a landmark design that will make current students proud to be a part of UBC, and future generations, including our children and others from all over the world to be proud to study or work on campus, 10 or 20 or 80 years from now.

    Our vision at Bunting Coady for the new UBC SUB is to inject 100% effort into the following:

    – designing a ‘Living Breathing Building’ for UBC…a level of sustainability that exceeds LEED Platinum certification through restorative design…enabling the building to restore the ecosystem and community, regenerate energy and recharge groundwater, while maintaining a vast amount of natural lighting and fresh air ventilation.

    – putting the student first. We continue to hire UBC students at our office for internships and often, full-time work. We want to engage students from all faculties to get involved in the design phase through in-house studios to UBC workshops, from Arts to Architecture, Science, Engineering, Forestry, Performing Arts, Business and more… We have a great blend of experienced senior architects and energetic staff that will go out of their way to connect with students, alumni and professors to ensure all needs will be met for an ever-changing student body and dynamic for the next 80-100 years.

    – We are a truly LOCAL, BC-based firm founded to provide the people of BC with beautiful and environmentally friendly buildings.

    Overall, we exist to bring beauty to everyday life through our designs by embracing the sun, the earth, the wind and the water.

    I hope this helped to give you some idea about where we are coming from at Bunting Coady, and the kind of vision we hope to construct with the students and users of the new SUB.


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