Neighbourhood Context & Scale
Menno Hall's building form and height transition is a direct result of considering the context and scale of the single family houses on the north and east side of the development. Menno Hall stays low at 4 storeys on the northern edge. It then rises up to 6 storeys at the intersection of Wesbrook Mall and University Blvd and drops back to 5 storeys towards Western Parkway to respond appropriately to the neighbouring context.
The massing of the building is intended as a sensitive transition between higher density developments at UBC and the lower density residential neighbourhood in Area A. The transition in height is softened with verdant landscaping and a green roof design.
Setting back the building & going underground
The development is scaled back to allow extra setbacks and sensitive height transition. The setbacks around the entire perimeter of Menno Hall will allow for proper landscape design and greenery, maximize the distance to single family houses, as well as accommodate and protect the critical root zones for the existing trees along the bridle path.
The institutional program areas are located below grade for scale considerations and to reduce building height. With the additional setbacks on the north and east side and this displacement, a second level of parking was required, incurring additional construction cost to the development.
Landscape design considerations will enhance the peace and quiet of the adjacent residential neighbourhood. Additional building setbacks are provided from the north and east property line to respect the immediate single family houses. This breathing space coupled with landscaping and trees provides a proper buffer and ensures the privacy and quiet of these homes is maintained. Additionally, a water feature in the internal court space of Menno Hall will provide white noise.
Our vision is to create a seamless interface between the public sphere and Menno Hall by lifting the entire building and minimizing the ground floor footprint. This will create space for beautifully landscaped gathering areas and weather-protected walkways offering comfortable public routes for community users who will move through the site on their way to different parts of the neighbourhood and nearby amenities.