University Hill Secondary School

Client: School District No. 39 (Vancouver)
Location: Vancouver, BC

This project is part of the new family of UBC University Hill schools, offering a continuum of education from early kindergarten to grade 12, with access to post-secondary enrichment studies. Grades 9-12 were relocated to the former UBC National Research Council building, which was renovated and expanded to be transformed into the new 800-student school.

To embark on this innovative approach to learning, a very broad ranging and intensive collaboration was developed with the stakeholders. Thinkspace also collaborated closely with the consultant team to design a two-story steel framed building also utilizing some glulam structure to meet with the Ministry of Education Wood First Initiative.

The primary focus of the School District for the design of this school was to incorporate 21st century learning concepts. The facility will:

  • support a variety of learning modalities from individual to small group
  • assist project based learning
  • encourage collaborative teaching and learning
  • promote individualized learning

A 15% Neighbourhood of Learning allowance includes improvements to activity spaces such as a second gym, a dance studio, drama space, out-of-school care support spaces, meeting spaces, and other enhancements.

The school has achieved LEED® certification. Many elements of the existing building have been retained, such as windows and doors, to be reused and recycled in the renovation. Other LEED® features include the use of regional, low VOC materials, and 100% FSC Certified wood.