How to design a school that the community will rally around, and one with the flexibility to evolve in the future?
The Pacific Coast University for Workplace Health Sciences (PCU-WHS) is a not-for-profit educational and research institution for workplace safety, health promotion, disability leadership studies and more. They have been recognized worldwide for their work with the United Nations and other international bodies. Ratio was chosen by PCU-WHS to develop a site master plan and to design the first building based on a mutual devotion to this outstanding cause.
We worked closely with our client to layout plans before a specific site was found, and before funding was secured. Feasibility studies were undertaken for several proposed sites.
Our work gave the client and the community a project to rally around. Seen as a huge boon for the formerly resource-based local economy, the PCU-WHS brought community and government groups together, including traditional political opponents. The City of Port Alberni donated three acres of land. Site planning was driven by the need to set structures back from a salmon bearing stream to the south, and to allow for both north and westward future expansion of the campus. The primary building is constructed with regional materials and designed to accommodate a second floor expansion in the future.