Open, welcoming and transparent, the new Kaiser building establishes a strong presence for the Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering on UBC’s Main Mall. The building form – an elegant glass box slipped over one existing structure and linked directly to another – clearly expresses the program of teaching, research and administrative space, and creates a new gateway into UBC’s engineering precinct. Light floods the new engineering complex. Offices arranged around the perimeter have floor-to-ceiling windows, fritted with a subtle organic pattern that gives solar protection and suggests reflections from the oaks of Main Mall. Windows at the ends of all corridors provide light and outside views.
Even labs receive indirect, controllable natural light. Seminar rooms and administrative spaces are arranged around the skylit main atrium, the point of connection between the two pre-existing buildings. architectsAlliance and its Vancouver-based project partner, Omicron Consulting Group, employed a full spectrum of sustainable design principles, reducing energy use by 45%.