Vancouver's University in a Shopping Mall

A photo essay by Witold Rybczynski explores how a campus operates in a shopping mall in a suburban community outside Vancouver, British Columbia.

December 22, 2011, 1:00 PM PST

By Chris Steins @urbaninsight

What appears to be a typical mall in the suburban community of Surrey, actually serves as the infrastructure a college campus, a satellite of Simon Fraser University.

Rybczynski writes: "Bing Thom Architects brokered the complicated deal that produced Surrey Central City. Engaged by the city of Surrey to study a future town center, BTA convinced a provincially owned auto insurance company called ICBC (which happened to be looking for a suburban location for its operations) to buy an ailing shopping mall in the center of Surrey, add a 25-story office building (left), and build a college campus that could be leased back to the university. The new population of students and office workers would revive the mall.

Existing mall facilities such as the food court and parking lots could do double duty for students and shoppers, and the adjacent Skytrain station and bus terminal would serve commuting students and office workers. The key to the design of the project was placing the 5,000-student, four-story university facilities on top of the shopping mall, which allowed the new construction to proceed while the mall remained open."

Thanks to ArchNewsNow

Friday, December 16, 2011 in Slate Magazine

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