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University Hill Secondary School

  • Client
    School District No. 39 (Vancouver)
  • Location
    Vancouver, BC
  • Completion
  • Photographer
    Ema Peter Photography


University Hill Secondary School is part of a family of schools at the University of British Columbia that offer a continuum of education from early kindergarten to grade 12. Grades 9 to 12 were relocated from the original University Hill school to the former National Research Council building, which was renovated, expanded, and transformed into a new 800-student secondary school.

A very broad-ranging and intensive collaboration with stakeholders was undertaken to facilitate the school’s innovative approach to learning. Thinkspace also worked closely with the consultant team to design a two-story steel framed building with a glulam structure, to meet the Ministry of Education’s Wood First Initiative.

The primary focus for the School District with this school was to incorporate 21st century learning concepts, including a variety of learning modalities, project-based learning, collaborative teaching and learning, and individualized learning.

A 15% Neighbourhood Learning allowance allowed the team to add various activity spaces, including a second gym, a dance studio, drama space, out-of-school care support spaces, and meeting spaces.

The project achieved LEED® certification by recycling existing elements from the original building, as well as the use of regional materials, low VOC materials, and 100% FSC Certified wood.