Acton Ostry Architects Inc. has built an excellent reputation over the years with its clean, powerful designs. Using a West Coast Modernist approach, the firm focuses on new high-density urban projects, as well as the rehabilitation, renovation, and re-use of existing buildings. Their work includes community and recreation centers, places of worship, schools, university buildings, and mixed-use multifamily residences.
One of the firm’s recent renovation projects was the expansion and renewal of the Sauder School of Business. The original 1960s Modernist concrete building had served its purpose but did little to serve the burgeoning reputation of a premier international business school at the University of British Columbia’s Point Grey Campus. Acton Ostry Architects designed a state-of-the-art, $85 million CAD facility with a 30,000-square-meter renovation and 5,100-square-meter addition–which if certified, would be anticipated to achieve a LEED Gold standard.
The firm also wrapped the existing building with glass for a cost-effective, dramatic update, aligning the new structural module with the original for a harmonious transition between old and new. Light and color now fill the once darkened space. Stunning glazed windows in shades of greens and blues meet sleek steel and glass to create a “corporate cool” effect. Within the main building, a new concourse lounge, conference and breakout rooms, a business career center, the Robert H. Lee Graduate School, and a café provide ample space for the exchange of knowledge. The five-story expansion includes a light-filled atrium hub that connects classrooms, lecture theaters, breakout rooms, social areas, and an undergraduate center. The results are stunning.
Principals Russell Acton and Mark Ostry selected Vectorworks Architect software as their design tool of choice. Acton recounts, “It’s very important to us that design drawings and working drawings read clearly with a strong graphic presence because they embody and communicate the architectural concept. We’ve been complimented many times on the clarity of our drawings and the completeness of the packages and that’s due in part to the use of Vectorworks.”