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UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA - PONDEROSA COMMONS

Vibrant Community

The University of British Columbia’s new Ponderosa Commons complex—designed for teaching, research, art-making, lounging, eating, living and sleeping—is conceived as something of a full-service community. The multi-phase project, designed by KPMB Architects in joint venture with HCMA Architecture + Design, is in many ways a test case for the myths and realities about creating a vibrant community.

“The Pond,” as it’s affectionately known, is designed to provide not just more student shelter but also more safety, social animation and connection. As such, the project presents not just a paradigm for a campus, but a microcosm of a city. My captured images feature the stainless steel soffit above the courtyard at Phase 1 East, installed by Keith Panel Systems. The space is programmed for performance art and potential film screenings.