Client: The University of British Columbia Location: Vancouver, BC Size: 7,200 sf Budget: $3,200,000.00 Status: Completed in 2006
Education
Abdul Ladha Science Student Centre

The Abdul Ladha Science Student Centre is one of only a handful of independent student society buildings on campus, providing the large Faculty of Science with a welcoming area for students to study, exchange ideas and socialize. Accessibly located in a prime position on East Mall, the nearly 7,200 square foot building features three levels of flexible space in the heart of the university’s science precinct.

Our goal was to incorporate the flexibility needed in a student-centred building. The lower floor features space for meetings, group work and solo study while the upper floor and mezzanine promote socializing, with a lounge area, kitchen and flex space for larger events.

The open yet inviting interior space is punctuated by swaths of colour that provide a bold backdrop to stimulating scientific discussion. Ombré blue-grey clouds float in a concrete public art piece that spans the second and upper levels. A concrete stair anchors the building.

A streamlined public process

JDa liaised with multiple stakeholders in the design and execution of the building, including the UBC Alma Mater Society, the Campus Advisory Board on Student Development, UBC Properties Trust, the Science Undergraduate Society and its user committee, and of course, the building’s namesake, Mr. Abdul Ladha—an acclaimed UBC Science and Applied Science graduate whose aim was to help create a sustainable and adaptable space for science-student engagement.

Chosen for its beauty, local availability and sustainability, wood was used for the primary supporting walls and roof. Substantial glulam columns and beams provide the structure, adding strength, stability, warmth and a sense of majesty to the building.

Prior to the building’s construction, science-student study space was fragmented across campus. Now, it’s centralized yet flexible, with many group and individual desks, study carrels, whiteboards, corkboards and more. Chartreuse accents activate study spaces where natural light may not be as plentiful.

Soaring ceilings afford space for an expansive mezzanine where a variety of events can be held. A bright corner meeting room allows engagement with passersby and is the perfect place to explore ideas. Natural ventilation is available throughout the building and sun control is achieved through window louvres.

Designed with transparency in mind, the building gives students access to abundant natural light.
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