SFU Mackenzie Hall

Simon Fraser University

Burnaby, BC

Arthur Erickson’s design for Simon Fraser University (SFU) was hailed as one of the most innovative and modern universities of the nineteenth century. SFU marked the beginning of a long collaboration between Arthur Erickson and Cornelia Oberlander that produced some of Canada’s greatest modern landscapes.

2015 marked the 50th anniversary of the completion of the campus and Gauthier & Associates Landscape Architecture played a key role in continuing Arthur and Cornelia’s legacy. 

Over time, changing priorities and maintenance issues can take a harsh toll on landscapes, particularly in temperate northern climates. Bold design decisions that made SFU so iconic have begun to lose their focus.

Many of the open spaces such as the bosque and pyramid, the celebrated heart of the campus, had become overgrown and under-utilized.  The campus no longer read as a coherent whole. 

Mackenzie Hall is one of the many new open spaces taking shape at the SFU Burnaby Campus. Gauthier & Associates Landscape Architecture has taken a leading role in the planning, assessment and implementation of dozens of new open spaces across the campus.  

Mackenzie Hall converts a loading area at a busy part of the campus and reimagines the space as a plaza, garden and gathering space for students, while screening the old loading bay from view. The resulting plaza is a popular now a popular meeting place to sit, socialize, eat and study. 

SFU students gather on a sunny day in the Mackenzie Hall Courtyard
Design details of the Mackenzie Hall Courtyard by Gauthier and Associates Landscape Architecture.
An overhead view of SFU Mackenzie Hall Courtyard.  Landscape design by Gauthier and Associates.
Mackenzie Hall Courtyard