Building K gets an A+

University of the Fraser Valley Building K, Abbotsford

Meet your new classroom: a former pub.

The newly transformed Building K is as bright and colourful as the students it continues to serve. With the school’s increasing population, this building does it all. A dynamic colour palette and tons of natural lighting help activate student minds, while open areas with versatile seating options help them wind down between classes. Introducing Pod Classrooms. So much more than your typical learning environment, these spaces encourage student engagement with technologically-mediated resources. Flexible seating arrangements also inspire interactive student-teacher discussion and peer collaboration. An Active Learning Centre open to the public makes the building accessible to the community.

It takes training to look this good.

Surrey Fire Services Training Centre

This Fire Services Training Centre marks the start of something new.

An expansive replacement of the previous facility, this building now boasts all new amenities in a stylish and sustainable space. We upgraded it all: a wet training room, 3 new classrooms, state-of-the-art audio-visual provisions in every training room, a larger kitchen and dining area. Even the roof got a makeover, with an action training deck. A cost-efficient design means it can add value back into the City of Surrey and its residents. It’s more than a place to bench weights, this building benchmarks the next era for fire service training in its own city as well as other municipalities.

Location is everything.

Ridge Meadows Wellness Centre

Making a health clinic stand out in a shopping mall is a team effort.

The Ridge Meadows Wellness Centre is a partnership between Fraser Health Authority, Ridge Meadows Division of Family Practice and Katzie First Nation. The clinic spans 8300SF in Haney Place Mall. Here, 3 types of patient care have made their home: Urgent Primary Care (UPCC), Primary Community Care (PCC), and Allied Care (Wellness). But these groups are more than just neighbours. They’ve collaborated and taken on a team-based care system. Within patient areas are spaces for staff to collaborate. And even further interaction is encouraged via the large therapy room, which is suitable for cultural practices such as smudging ceremonies, drumming, and ceremony circles. The clinic also includes 12 exam rooms, 3 consultation rooms, and a rehab area for physical/occupational therapy.

In times of change, architecture must adapt.

Port Moody Urgent and Primary Care Centre

Keeping their focus on community wellness in a time when health is a global priority.

Succeeding the Surrey Urgent Primary Care Centre (UPCC), the Port Moody UPCC continues their provincial mission of unified urgent and primary care even as they help fight the spread of COVID. As a result, this facility was designed with flexibility in mind, fit to fulfill both the medical and mental wellness needs of the city’s vulnerable population. A large multi-purpose Therapy Room/Educational Space can function dually as a COVID testing space. The waiting area responds to distancing guidelines and incorporates screens between group seating into its design.

Colour this workspace inviting

Government of BC Accommodation, Office Fit-Out 1050 Pender Street, Vancouver

Imagine a work space that incorporates a casual coffee-shop feel with a creative business environment. We call it the “next office”.

This contemporary workplace was designed to embrace the concept of a well-integrated community and create a feeling of warmth and safety. 90% of the workplace can access both daylight and view. Studies have shown promoting walking and standing in the workplace improve health and productivity. So booth style meeting spaces and free standing huddle tables are used to great advantage.

Demountable glazed walls with stylized environmental graphics are used for enclosed rooms. Break out rooms have lots of visibility to discourage staff from hiding out in them. The overall take-away is a vibrant workplace which can be used to house different departments over the term of the lease. A variety of furniture groupings were provided in the collaboration hub and staff break room. To allow for formal or casual meetings, High quality, customizable furniture sets could be arranged to accommodate everything from blue sky sessions to video conferencing.

This fire hall deserves its own calendar

Surrey Fire Hall #14

The first civic building that visitors encounter when they enter Canada via the Douglas Birder Crossing is a very different looking, new fire hall…..

Designed to reflect the heritage of the Surrey Fire Service, it also provides a contemporary modern facility. The main exterior finish is red clay brick with a textured concrete black base. Arches frame the brick cladding over the apparatus bay doors in front and at the main stair tower. Arched windows and fully glazed overhead doors offer views from the fire hall and show off what’s going on inside.

In the fireman’s fitness area, a glazed overhead door allows crews to open the space to an outdoor terrace and let the fireman be the “eyes on the street” for the neighbourhood. Inside is equally multi-purposed. The floor plan has the crew dormitories on the ground floor and kitchen/dining spaces upstairs. Naturally, the crew uses a brass fire pole to speed up nighttime response times. Glazing is used at the upper floor area to uplight the exposed wood structure and finishes. Landscaped bioswales along the front ingeniously drain to a retention pond at the highway intersection. For graphic impact, an art installation titled “Teamwork” fronts the main stair tower that faces the highway. To preserve the existing large fir and cedar trees in the centre of the site, the new hall was situated in front of them.

Completing the build, is an onsite sewage treatment plant, emergency generator and a stand-along storage facility for site maintenance.

West Coast beauty with an ocean view

Search and Rescue Station Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Port Hardy, BC

Located at the northern tip of Vancouver Island, Port Hardy isn’t the easiest place to source standard construction resources you might find in more populated areas….

Located at the northern tip of Vancouver Island, Port Hardy isn’t the easiest place to source standard construction resources you might find in more populated areas. So replacing two out-dated work and living accommodations on the waterfront of Port Hardy provided its own unique set of challenges. The solution incorporated traditional West Coast design featuring cedar cladding, wood post and beam construction with some traditional Coast Guard red.

The result? A warm contemporary expression for a modern facility. Using local participation in the construction process, the building was designed using wood frame construction. Costs were reduced by not having to bring in trades from the mainland. Use of wood frame, wood siding, and easily sourced products allowed for future maintenance by local trades. Being a Fisheries building, views of water were incorporated into all rooms, including the Officer-in-Charge’s bedroom. The view from the water was the primary driver of the layout and placement of the buildings within the site.

The project achieved the maximum rating for Green Globes, (a score of 88%) for its integrated design process, integration of environmental purchasing, a commissioning plan and an emergency response plan. The design also scored 100% for energy consumption by integrating day-lighting, along with a robust building envelope and the use of energy efficient lighting, HVAC, hot water, and building automation systems. To top it off, there’s a green roof.

Coolest design ever

TRIUMF – Compressor Building, UBC

Who says a compressor building can’t be cool?

This accessory building, part of the ARIEL (Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory) at UBC, is a new free standing building that houses a compressor room for cryogenic equipment. The new ARIEL facility requires the cryogenic system for the process of cooling associated with the e-linac. Located on the south of the Experimental Hall and the existing cooling towers, it will have helium buffer tanks located on a steel rack beside the building. An overhead Mechanical and electrical service trunk carrying helium pipes and ionized water, as well as, electrical and communication conduits connects the Compressor building to the Electron Hall. For the TRIUMF staff, we incorporated a new covered bicycle storage area at the end of the trip facility.We also allowed  for a volleyball court in the neighbouring courtyard between the buildings. And just because the building is utilitarian doesn’t mean it can’t have personality, so we chose a strong vibrant colour for the west facade. An articulated wood  structure for the canopy reinforces the recreational nature of the adjacent open space.

Lean, Green, and Clean

TRIUMF – Store Building, UBC

This 2-storey building’s main purpose is to provide centralized storage and pick-up/delivery of material to the whole of TRIUMF.

The storage function occupies the main floor. And the second floor houses the design office of TRIUMF, TRIUMF is a secured site with only controlled access from the outside. The Store Building is one of the two buildings within the property that allows this controlled access. The building is designed with an industrial, contemporary expression on the exterior. The interior planning of the store is based on the security function of the building and the efficient flow of material. The offices on the 2nd floor feature an open plan with auxiliary supporting functions and ample windows around the perimeter of the building. Designed with sustainable principles in mind the building is LEED Gold standard. The compact footprint, efficient planning  and natural light formed the starting principles.

A healthy new way of looking at things

Surrey Urgent Primary Care Centre

British Columbia is in the process of transitioning its health system to a unified system of team-based primary and community care.

Local centres will deliver services to people who need them, by the right provider at the right time. The Ministry of Health approved the funding for this program in December 2017. And Surrey was selected as the first of its kind in this new approach to care. Surrey Urgent Primary Care Centre services the North Surrey/Whalley area. The target patients are the most vulnerable part of the local population – people who have no doctor. Many of these people may also have mental health issues. Currently they may seek help at a shelter – or they may not get treatment at all. The proposed Urgent Primary Care Centre will provide the residents of Surrey timely access to primary care services in response to an urgent need.

Choose this port in a storm

Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) Penticton District Office Relocation, Osoyoos Port of Entry

The lease on the old CBSA District Office at Penticton expired. So the office was being relocated to  Osoyoos Port of Entry in the spring of 2018.

The District Office provides support for all ports in the entire district from BC to the Alberta border. Given this large mandate, flexibility for future growth and a stand-alone space separate from operations of the Port were key.

The newly designed office contains 10 work stations, 3 enclosed offices, storage, kitchenette, a meeting room, a quiet room, service space, a locker room, and male and female bathrooms. A universal washroom was also provided within the office space. Some new perimeter windows were added on the existing walls  to offer a view towards the magnificent Okanagan landscape. And the already existing clerestory windows remain with an added open ceiling to allow light to flood in the main open office area.

Futuristic design meets vintage trucks

Port Moody Inlet Centre Fire Hall (Fire Hall No.1)

The assignment? Replace the aging Fire Hall No.1 in the City of Port Moody.

Expand operations and provide better, faster coverage to the city. The new facility offers 2 sets of high bay parking areas for 7 trucks in total. And the building is designed house administration, on-call and training facilities. A special accommodation was made to showcase a vintage fire truck collection. The new Fire hall is also designed as a post-disaster facility.

Number 8 is a 10

Abbotsford Fire Hall No.8

Presenting Abbotsford Fire Hall No.8,

a new facility that offers up two new drive-through bays serving a growing municipality. A large fitness area has direct access to an upper floor deck that looks out to the adjacent public park to the east. A hose tower at the rear of the hall is designed to accommodate training facilities and features a sloped, shingled roof with glazing at the top floor and a balcony for training.

Respecting the environment, the project is designed to LEED silver standards.

People want to adopt this building too

Surrey Animal Resource Center

Design a beautiful, functional building and then watch its use increase.

That was the intention with the city of Surrey’s new Animal Resource Centre.

By designing the facility as a community attraction, visitors are maximized, which happily also maximizes the opportunities for animal adoptions. The building isn’t just friendly to animals, it’s earth friendly, as well. Designed to LEED Silver standard, it features extensive daylighting via windows and solar tubes, geothermal heating and cooling, sensor/timer controlled lights and on-site storm water retention with bioswales and retention ponds. The adoptions area features viewing/socializing rooms. Other rooms include small animal viewing, a retail shop and volunteer facilities. You can even wash your dog there in the dog washing facilities. Surfaces are washable to help avoid infections Redundant systems and emergency power capabilities exceed the CCAC – CCPA standards for animal care.

Brainstorming in inspirational surroundings

Vancouver International Airport Link 2 Level 5 Operations & IT Office Tenant Improvements

This office renovation came with a special request. Could you make the Briefing Planning Room extra cool?

Consider it done.

The 1,100m2 office is located at the 5th floor of the Link Building at Vancouver International Airport. The space holds 2 major departments – the Operations Department and the IT Department. The Ops people were the ones with the “brain room” that held their blue sky sessions for their strategic planning meetings. We decked out the room with a highly flexible multi-media audio visual system and a movable display system to help with the inspiration.

They were inspired.


Strong colours, strong design

Vancouver Island University International Centre for Sturgeon Studies

This is one of only four research facilities dedicated to the study of sturgeon in the world. A rarity.

And rare in its  thoughtful design, as well. This 2-storey building is a prime example of how a small, modest and tight budget project can stand out among building groups in the campus by employing a strong but natural colour palette.

Cleverly, ordinary building material was turned into an economical but elegant solution.

The building is located on a sloped site which is at the highest point of the whole campus. It is half buried into the slope. The ground floor is fitted with large and small tanks and all tank rooms are windowless so that pre-programmed lighting can be used. On the exterior, a colour pattern that represents the harmony of earth, water and sky was employed. An artfully articulated fenestration for the facade helped the building stand out at the campus’ highest point. Among the sustainable features of this building will be a waste water discharge system that allows collection for use in a grey water reuse system in the future.

Our best design for man’s best friend

Vancouver Police Department Dog Squad Facility

Hard working police dogs deserve a nice home.

Our new Police Dog Squad facility for the City of Vancouver, accommodates 20 enclosed, two-compartment kennels each with natural light, epoxy floors and walls and both forced air and in-floor heating for the dog’s comfort and safety. There are also 8 rapid access kennels immediately adjacent to the main building. Support spaces include an administration office, a classroom, male and female change rooms, a secure  storage room and a fitness area. For use on swing shifts, there are two acoustically isolated bunk rooms with a nearby kitchen. An all-weather grass training field lets the public watch the dogs in action.

A very healthy design

University Of Victoria Medical Sciences Building

In keeping with concerns about health, this building was designed to care about the health of the planet.

It is certified LEED Gold. The building houses medical teaching and research as a part of UBC’s undergraduate physician training program. In partnership with British Columbia Medical Training, the building comprises the University of Victoria’s portion of the distributed model. Key features include lecture theatres, laboratory and gross anatomy lab facilities, all for interactive distance education teaching, in which lectures are broadcast from the other UBC sites to students in this facility. The space also includes rooms for conventional teaching, small groups distance education seminars,  faculty offices, flexible research labs and animal care.