Editorial: Design and dollars look promising so far

The Columbia Valley’s multi-use centre is finally take shape.

The Columbia Valley’s multi-use centre is finally take shape. SHAPE Architecture, a Vancouver-based firm, has landed the architectural services contract for the project. Recently conferred the City of Vancouver 2014 Urban Design Award for outstanding sustainable design and the City of Vancouver 2014 Urban Design Award — Special Jury Award for architectural design excellence and innovative community densification, this progressive team of architects, planners and designers is highly regarded on the coast. Queue the sigh of relief. SHAPE’s list of credentials includes civic projects such as the Guildford Recreation Centre and Pool, the North Delta Recreation Centre and Pool, the Fraser Heights Recreation Centre and the University of British Columbia (UBC) Tennis Centre.  SHAPE was also selected to develop a new home for the Schools of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Community and Regional Planning at UBC.

Furthermore, sustainability of the design won’t be a question of dollars and cents. SHAPE’s founder and principal architect, Nick Sully, was recently quoted in Western Living Magazine as saying: “Sustainability is just part of good design; it shouldn’t be a gimmick.”

It’s really exciting that such an innovative architectural group is responsible for delivering the design on this project that so many in the valley have a stake in.

As for the dollars needed for construction, the UBCM’s Strategic Priorities Fund is an application-based program available to local governments outside the Greater Vancouver Regional District that “supports infrastructure and capacity building projects that are either larger in scale, regional in impact or innovative, and align with the program objectives of productivity and economic growth, a clean environment and strong cities and communities.” Seems like a good fit and council is wise to wait to ensure the  multi-use centre is eligible.