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UBC | School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture

UBC | School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture
University of British Coumbia

402 – 6333 Memorial Road
V6T 1Z2 VancouverBC
Academic Organisation


SALA’s Design Build program is a graduate level workshop that gives students the opportunity to carry an architectural concept to reality.

Located 20 kilometers north of the UBC campus, Camp Fircom is an off-grid retreat center on the east shore of Gambier Island that hosts the outdoor studio for the program. Fircom is 120 acres of coastal forest, farm, and beach, and a demonstration site for alternative energy initiatives. The connection between Camp Fircom and SALA is based on the shared interest of fostering a rich learning environment for a sustainable future.

Focusing on the importance of wood as a sustainable building material students work in teams developing their designs to fit the needs and values of Camp Fircom. Students cycle through drawing, models, and mock-ups before producing detailed permit and construction sets in preparation for the build.

The build phase of the program is six weeks of on-site building. From site prep to finishing details the entire operation is run by students.

With the help from local sponsors our past projects include three staff cabins: Salarium, Salamander and Salala; an amphitheatre, and an archery pavilion. Future projects include hydrokinetic power generation from their local river, a boat house, a sauna, additional staff housing, a suspension bridge, and many more.

The SALA Design/Build program is a unique experience that students will carry forward as they design the buildings, cities, and landscapes of tomorrow.



Gambier Island, British Columbia

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