Martha Piper Plaza

To: All UBC Students, Faculty and Staff

The plaza, located at the intersection of University Boulevard and Main Mall, represents the symbolic heart of the campus as it is at the junction of two principal and historic promenades on campus. A new fountain in the plaza will give physical form to that symbolism. The UBC Naming Committee has approved the naming of this plaza as the Martha Piper Plaza in honor of Dr. Piper, UBCs 11th President (1997 – 2006). It is the busiest pedestrian intersection at UBC, crossed by thousands of people daily.

The new fountain — designed by Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg and to be completed in 2012 — will celebrate a new concept at the plaza, called The Pulse. This concept will be expressed through the water flow, which will be regulated by computers programmed to coincide with class breaks, reflecting the rhythm of campus life. At their peak, the jets will be 12 feet high but only during the 10 minute period between classes. At night, the fountain will be switched to a mist, reducing energy use. The fountain will re-circulate potable water through an electric pump. These water features demonstrate UBC’s commitment to using stormwater as a resource, harnessing it to provide an active, lively and engaging public space for the campus community. Looking down into the fountain bowl, you will see the name of every faculty and department at UBC inscribed in sheet metal, helping instill a stronger sense of place at UBC.

A formal opening of the Martha Piper Plaza will be held in the spring and details will be forthcoming.

Stephen J. Toope
President and Vice-Chancellor