From scrap wood to Zen hangout space: UBC students build a “C-Shore” on campus


It resembles nothing so much as a giant Jenga tower, but the new cedar pavilion right in the middle of campus is somewhat more permanent — and arguably more necessary.

Located at Main Mall and University Boulevard next to a water feature, the pavilion offers a place of respite to anyone in search of a quiet space to recharge between classes, or simply unwind at the end of the day. The students who built it call it C-Shore — a play on "shore" for its location (at the edge of water) and the verb "to shore" (to provide support).

There are no doors. There is plenty of indoor seating for small groups, and a sloping ramp at the front makes the space easy to access. The faint smell of fresh cedar strikes a green note of welcome.


C-Shore was designed and constructed by graduate students enrolled in a design-build course at the UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) led by associate professor Joseph Dahmen.

They used western red cedar planks and a specific clamping technique to minimize the use of screws. After two years, the green wood is expected to be dry enough to be rebuilt into garden planter boxes for Vancouver primary schools.

“The pavilion connects architecture with local materials — the cedar was milled from trees reclaimed from a construction site not two kilometers away,” said Dahmen. “And next year, UBC geography students will work with a visiting sound artist to create a sound piece reflecting the forest where the timber was harvested.”

Emily Kazanowski, one of the students who worked on the pavilion, appreciates the transformation of materials — from trees that would have been scrap wood into a place of relaxation and, ultimately, into frames for new plant life.

“This was a really good opportunity to see what you design translated into what was built. It was fun to get hands-on and be working outside. And the smell of cedar is amazing, particularly when it rains!” said the SALA master’s student.

C-Shore was completed mid-June and is supported by UBC’s SEEDS Sustainability Program and other partners. For more information, visit SALA website or read a recent article about the pavilion in The Ubyssey.


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