Michael Heeney of Bing Thom Architects writes: “When Witold Rybczynski was out for the Warren Gill lecture I had an opportunity to tour him around Surrey. He was particularly excited about Central City and said he would be writing about it for both Slate and the Wharton Business Review. The Slate piece was posted on Friday. “
And it is an interesting take on this landmark project, by an observer with an international perspective. Here’s what Rybcynski had to say about SFU Surrey integrated into what was once just a shopping mall:
Ivy-covered walls and green lawns have traditionally been the hallmarks of campus life, so the juxtaposition of study halls and stores comes, at first, as a shock. While universities often talk about coming down from their Ivory Towers, there is usually an arm’s-length relationship between the academy and the world of commerce—even college bookstores are generally relegated to the campus fringe. But why should students be isolated from everyday life? Or vice versa? The longer I walked around Surrey Central City the more convinced I became of the profound correctness of this innovative solution.
The Slate series of slides begins here.