Project led by Tanya Luthi while employed at a previous firm
Office of McFarlane Biggar Architects + Designers
UBC Properties Trust
510 m² (5,500 ft²) (addition only)
Structural Engineering Consultant
2015 AIBC Lieutenant Governor’s Award
This building addition, while small in overall footprint, provided a much-needed revitalization to the university’s bookstore. By providing an open, transparent, and inviting space, the store and surrounding plaza have become a focal point of the campus and serve as a gathering space.
Thoughtful integration of lighting and other building services into the prefabricated structural steel and timber roof panels allowed for a clean aesthetic, with the structure exposed to view from beneath. Roof structure that cantilevers in both directions to support the hung mezzanine allow for generous overhangs that appear to float above the ground.
The expansion includes additional retail space, a café, and informal gathering spaces on a mezzanine that wraps the perimeter of the space.
Challenge: Minimizing visual disruption to the exposed timber roof.
Solution: By designing roof panels that had lighting and other services integrated into the structure rather than installed as an afterthought, the exposed structure remains tidy and uncluttered in appearance.
Challenge: Providing a roof structure that would be economical and easy to erect on site.
Solution: The roof structure was prefabricated with simple elements: steel channels and dimension lumber. By designing with prefabrication in mind, the roof could be divided into segments that were logical from both a factory and transport point of view, minimizing the number of connections required on site.