kwantlen polytechnic university
PUBLIC and KPMB Architects designed the new Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. This platform meant for the development of creative professionals offers innovative education in fashion, interior, graphic and product design, as well as an applied research studio laboratory where transformative leaders, design innovators, and strategic technologists will emerge as leaders of design industries.
The site in the Fraser River delta posed challenges such as a very high water table, infirm soils, and seismic conditions. Additionally, the area is rapidly evolving from suburban to urban, thus necessitating a more pedestrian-focused campus. The design responds to site conditions with a very light yet rigid structure of oversized glue-laminated beams, referencing ship construction. And to address a more urban future, the new building frames a central green space, creating spaces for study, animation, and gathering. The highly visible entry is aligned with the access corridor from the Lansdowne Light Rapid Transit Station drawing students and visitors to the campus while creating a new front door on Kwantlen Street.