University of British Columbia opens new Law School
The University of British Columbia (UBC) opened a new Law School at Allard Hall this week designed by Toronto-based Diamond and Schmitt Architects with CEI Architecture Planning Interiors of Vancouver. The building, which is targeted for LEED Gold designation, is Canada’s first purpose built law school to open in 30 years.
The 141,000 sq ft, five-storey building features a wide range of flexible learning and study spaces centered around the forum, a wood-clad atrium with retractable seats that can be used as a lecture hall for the entire school population or as a moot court. The law school provides spaces for more than 50 faculty members, 600 undergraduate and 100 post-graduate students.
“The Law Faculty wants this building to engage the students and faculty and to demonstrate that Law no longer practices in isolation from other disciplines”, said Donald Schmitt, Principal with Diamond and Schmitt Architects. “The design reflects this by creating an open and inviting environment for both formal and informal learning.”
The building makes use of locally sourced materials including blond, butter-coloured bricks and Douglas fir millwork and paneling and takes advantage of its sloping site to maximize views of Howe Sound and the Coastal Mountains from the double height library, fourth-floor sculpture garden and offices. The $65m building is Diamond and Schmitt’s fifth project at the UBC.