UBC Gateway

Vancouver/ Canada

Size/ 25,000 m²

Competition/ Open RFP process 2020

Status/ Expected Completion 2024

Client/ University of British Columbia

Collaborating Architect/ Perkins&Will

Landscape Architect/ Hapa Collaborative

Engineers/ RJC, Stantec, Smith+Andersen, InterCAD

Sustainability/ Targeting Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Building Standard & LEED v4 Gold certification

Awards/ Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence, Award of Excellence for UBC Gateway in Vancouver, Canada

Visuals/ Vismo


The new Gateway building at the University of British Columbia’s Point Grey campus entrance will reflect UBC’s reputation as a world-class university. The sustainable 25,000-square-metre health science academic and research building will transform the campus arrival experience for students, staff, and visitors. Targeting completion in 2024, the building will co-locate the School of Nursing, School of Kinesiology, Integrated Student Health Services, and Health and Language Sciences components.

Bringing together different departments will strengthen the academic programs through collaboration opportunities. The facility will host a mix of spaces, including wet and dry labs, clinical areas, lecture theatres and classrooms, gym and fitness facilities, and office and administrative functions.

The Gateway building's transparent entryway will provide a visual connection to the existing campus and public realm. Located at the intersection of University Boulevard and Wesbrook Mall, Gateway marks the historic arrival point of UBC and the crossroads of campus and community.

The building integrates UBC’s promise to support inclusivity, sustainability, and well-being. As part of the university's commitment to Indigenous reconciliation, engagements with the Musqueam population helped establish a conceptual foundation for the design process.

Designed with a holistic approach to people and nature, the landscape surrounding the building was developed to enhance the local ecology. This extended nature landscape will be lined by significant trees and lush ground to offer respite and spiritual nourishment for all visitors. The gateway’s structure, made of exposed mass timber, will lower the project's embodied carbon and provide biophilic benefits to users.

Timber represents a traditional building material and brings warmth to the campus, sensed in the central six-storey atrium. The atrium’s sculptural timber staircase cultivates socialisation and knowledge-sharing, creating an open and welcoming atmosphere. The local flora and the warm, light-filled design express commonalities between Musqueam values and culture and UBC's environmental and wellness goals.

The Gateway building supports UBC’s ambitious sustainability goals, aiming to be the university’s first building to meet the Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Building Standard. The building integrates passive design strategies such as a high-performance envelope, high-efficiency mechanical systems, and reduced embodied carbon. UBC Gateway was designed in collaboration with Perkins&Will's Vancouver practice.

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