Being surrounded by nature is a healing experience. By bringing nature into your space, your physical and mental well-being improves. The connection can offer so many perks. This includes a better mood, better physical health, and even better self-esteem. The University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver for one, highlights innovative designs. At the same time, it embraces the values of the Musqueam Host Nation–the Indigenous People of the Point Grey Campus.

The six-story atrium includes a large connecting staircase and many comfortable spaces.

The UBC is located on the western tip of the Point Grey Peninsula, hugged by nature. As expected, the UBC Gateway by Perkins&Will promotes sustainability, health, and well-being. This 24,716 square meter structure, connects two five-story wings with a skylit atrium. Standing at six stories high, it blurs the line between the indoors and outdoors. UBC Gateway’s concept references the site’s history as an indigenous forest. For the longest time, this forest has been the Musqueam Host Nation’s ancient and traditional space.

The Gateway building sits as the point of entry for the UBC campus.

Among its many features, the atrium is the central piece that works as the structure’s beating heart. As the main social space, it’s where house boards inspired by Musqueam artistry and practice are. This also highlights the different schools and departments moving through the building.

A Timber Hybrid System

Made mostly of wood, it has a warm and welcoming vibe.
The structure is a gateway that promotes sustainability and well-being.

Like all other modern buildings, the UBC gateway is a sustainable structure. This hybrid structural approach makes use of glue-laminated timber (GLT), low-carbonated concrete, and steel. Unlike pure timber, this approach fulfills several span and vibration sensitivity requirements. On top of that, it reduces embodied carbon and contributes to the building users’ health and well-being.

Aside from the atrium, the UBC Gateway mixes other spaces. There are large lecture theaters, wide gyms, and variously sized classrooms. There are labs too along with single offices, and exam rooms that are a part of larger clinics. The UBC Gateway is going to be completed by 2024. It will stand host to more than 44,000 undergraduates, 10,000 graduate students, staff, and visitors.

Photos by Perkins&Will

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