Home Housing UBC student housing gets big boost with plans for 600 new beds

UBC student housing gets big boost with plans for 600 new beds

View from East Mall looking southeast across the Commons
View from East Mall looking southeast across the Commons. Credit: HCMA Architecture + Design

Plans also show new location for Arts Student Centre, previously slated for The Bosque

Student housing at UBC is about to get another big boost, with plans for 600 beds in two new buildings on Walter Gage Road.

The proposal, known as Brock Commons Phase 2, includes an 18-storey north tower and a 13-storey south tower, situated between the Peter A. Allard School of Law and Brock Hall.

Architects are HCMA Architecture + Design, with landscape architecture by PFS Studio.

Renderings: New student housing at UBC

Aerial view to Southwest. Credit: HCMA Architecture + Design
Aerial View to Southeast. Credit: HCMA Architecture + Design
Development rendering. Credit: HCMA Architecture + Design
View along Walter Gage Road to West. Credit: HCMA Architecture + Design
View to East along Walter Gage. Credit: HCMA Architecture + Design
Aerial View to Northwest. Credit: HCMA Architecture + Design
View along Walter Gage Road to West. Credit: HCMA Architecture + Design

The 600 new student beds in Brock Commons Phase 2 will be joined by new academic and institutional space, with plans showing an arts advising area, classrooms and offices.

It also appears UBC Equity and Inclusion may be moving into the new building, with office space allocated on level four of the south tower.

Plans also show office space for UBC Student Housing and Hospitality Services (SHHS) on plans for the north tower. New offices for VP Academic and VP Students are also shown on plans.

Ground floor plans show a large UBC Food Services facility, with a deli, cafe, grab-and-go section and seating areas. A childcare facility is also planned.

Student housing unit layouts show a variety of formats, including studios and four-bedroom units with shared living spaces.

Landscaping plans show a traffic-calmed Walter Gage Road, with new planting and landscaping surrounding the development.

Public realm concept plan, showing landscaping and traffic calming on Walter Gage Road. Credit: PFS Studio

The project is targeting LEED v4 Gold certification.

Two public consultation events are planned:

  • Wednesday, August 7, 2019 between 11:30am – 1:30pm in the Concourse, UBC Life Building, 6138 Student Union Boulevard
  • Tuesday, September 10, 2019 between 11:30am – 1:30pm in the Concourse, UBC Life Building, 6138 Student Union Boulevard

Online feedback can also be submitted here.

The development should go before the Board of Govenors at the September 24 meeting. 

Construction on the new student housing should start in Spring 2020, with an anticipated completion date in Fall 2022.

New location for UBC Arts Student Centre

Interestingly, plans also show a new, proposed location for the Arts Student Centre, which was originally planned for a treed area known as The Bosque, before the plan was scrapped due to concerns over the removal of several trees.

Site plan, showing potential location of UBC Arts Student Centre, outlined with dotted red line. Credit: PFS Studio

This proposed new location will go before the Board of Governors in September 2019.

It’s not clear if the building will be redesigned for this potential new location, but here’s how it looked when it was slated for The Bosque:

New Arts Student Centre at UBC at The Bosque. Credit: UBC Properties Trust

Project just the latest student housing announcement at UBC

UBC has been steadily adding new student housing beds at its Point Grey campus. In February, the university announced almost 1,000 new student beds in five buildings called the Pacific Residences, to be built around Gage Towers, at Wesbrook Mall and Student Union Boulevard.

Streetscape rendering. Credit: UBC Campus and Community Planning
Overall development. Credit: UBC Campus and Community Planning

Next door to Gage Towers, students are already moving into The Exchange Residences for the first time, a new, 650-bed building with a transit facility incorporated into the ground floor.

With rents in Vancouver at all-time highs and vacancies hard to come by, it’s clear UBC sees an opportunity to house more students on campus.

The Exchange Residence, scheduled to complete this summer. Credit: UBC Campus and Community Planning
Rendering of UBC Exchange and Gage South student residences at dusk. Credit: DIALOG

How many students live on campus?

  • UBC has more on-campus housing than any university in Canada with 11,796 beds as of September 2018.
  • Four additional projects – one under construction and opening in summer 2019 (Exchange Residence) – will add another 2,700 beds by 2022. By then, with 14,500 beds on the Vancouver campus, UBC will be one of the largest student housing providers in North America.
  • UBC has land set aside to build up to 18,000 beds in future should demand continue to grow.

Source: UBC News

Video: Student housing at UBC by the numbers

Editor’s note: Peter Meiszner is an employee of the University of British Columbia.

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