Parkitecture Collage

The site on which the project is centered was physically and emotionally the centre of UBC when it opened. The space now fulfills a primarily transitory roll for people going to class in the surrounding buildings. A very small proportion of visitors to the site stay for longer than five minutes. Additionally, the space mostly consists of hard, paved surfaces, with very monotonous vegetation as well as a few patches of grass. The result of this is a space that is uninviting to non-human users, such as bird and insect species. Thus, I chose to focus on the aspects of social interactions and wildlife with, proposing an intervention that would both create a space where students would feel comfortable staying in, as well as one where animal species could thrive in. The proposed structure comes out of the ground, yet opens up for an interior space with tables and microwaves for students, or other visitors, to sit in, study, eat, or relax before the next class. Alternatively, the exterior slope is completely dedicated to plant and animal species, containing a wide variety of local bushes and grasses to support introduced insect species such as ants, spiders, mantis, scorpion flies and bees. ‘Animal infrastructure’ such as a fake-tree with birdhouses, cables for squirrels and birds to avoid human traffic, and small wooden boxes to encourage sparrow nesting would all then contribute to create a small but diverse community of wildlife where currently there is none. The intervention would hopefully create a space for the University that is pleasant and functional for people, where they are put in greater contact with nature, and feel drawn to spend their time at the site; the addition of a Totem Pole pays homage to the fact that the site is not only the original centre of the University, but also on ancestral lands of First Nation communities. It would also hopefully provide a functional space for wildlife in the middle of the urban setting of the University.

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