Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts

simon fraser school of arts

Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts

An Adaptable Space for the Arts 

With space across five floors within the historic Woodward’s redevelopment in downtown Vancouver, Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts has a reenvisioned multi-disciplinary facility to call home.

To develop spaces that suited the needs of the wide variety of programs (visual and performing arts with programs in theatre, dance, visual arts, and film studies) the design team worked closely with faculty stakeholders to define and refine a program that would suit their specific needs. At the design outset, the design team produced oversized models to illustrate and communicate the connectivity and adjacencies of program spaces. These demountable models proved to be a great asset to test new relationships quickly and define where we could gain critical non-programmed student gathering spaces.

One such layout revision discovered in these design sessions was, when the school’s design committee agreed at an early stage to allow a portion of windowed staff offices to be internalized so that the school’s Multimedia Lab, a unifying program space, could have a street face presence and make it a place that students would naturally want to congregate and work together.

The design of the facility combines the refined look of a performance space with the warmth and humanity of an artist’s loft. The School for the Contemporary Arts offers unprecedented access to professional-level performance space in all disciplines. Now, the amenities of the new space match the caliber of the program itself — integrating the facility with the professional arts community and expanding the student learning experience.

Designed in joint venture with Proscenium Architecture.

simon fraser school of arts
Woodward's Redevelopment Group

Vancouver, BC

127,000 sf (11,800 m²)