Allard Hall, home of the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia (UBC), creates a welcoming and inspiring learning, research and meeting place for students, faculty, staff and the wider legal community. When it opened in 2011, Allard Hall was the first purpose-built, all-new law building for a Canadian law school in 30 years. The facility is a beautiful, light-filled, four-storey, 141,000 square foot building with spacious, contemporary classrooms, dedicated group study rooms and abundant informal learning spaces. Allard Hall is situated on the north end of the UBC campus, offering stunning views of the Pacific Ocean and nearby Coastal mountains.
The building was made possible thanks to generous contributions from the Law Foundation of British Columbia; leading law firms including Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, Davis LLP now DLA Piper (Canada) LLP, and Richards Buell Sutton LLP; the law school's alumni community; and other friends and supporters of the law school. A transformational gift of $11.86 million from law alumnus Mr. Peter A. Allard, Q.C. was recognized by the University by naming its new law building Allard Hall. Private fundraising totaled nearly $35 million, making the campaign the most successful in history for a Canadian law school building. The University committed the remaining $21 million toward the building's $56 million cost.
Indigenous Building Features
The planning process for Allard Hall benefited from extensive consultation with representatives of the Musqueam Indian Band, on whose traditional and ancestral unceded territory UBC is located, along with Indigenous faculty, staff and students. The building includes several unique features which reflect the Musqueam culture, including an Indigenous Law Student Lounge featuring ‘woven’ wood to reflect the cultural importance of cedar and an Indigenous classroom that fosters respect for Indigenous legal traditions. A welcoming First Nations Musqueam House Post by Musqueam artist Brent Sparrow Jr. stands near the building and serves to recognize the historic and ongoing relationship between the Allard School of Law and the Musqueam people in the pursuit of justice and education related to Indigenous peoples.
Other Building Features
The building houses the Law Library at Allard Hall, one of the largest in Canada, providing outstanding reference and research support. Its extensive on-site and electronic collection includes legal materials from the major common law jurisdictions of the world, civil materials from Québec (in English and French), comparative and international law materials, as well as one of the most comprehensive collections of Asian legal materials in Canada.
The facility is in demand for external and internal meetings, events, workshops, lectures, and conferences, totaling approximately 100 per year. The Provincial Court of British Columbia and the BC Court of Appeal hear actual cases in the building’s moot court room several times per year. Allard Hall has also been used as a filming location by commercial film crews.
Sustainable Building Features
Diamond Schmitt Architects, in conjunction with CEI Architecture, were the architects of this building which is LEED Gold certified. Some of the features are a geo-thermal heat exchange system, high-efficiency lighting and ventilation, plus shower facilities, lockers and bike storage to facilitate bicycle commuting. The building incorporates many local and sustainable construction materials. View the full list of sustainable building features here.
In 2012 Allard Hall was recognized with the following design and construction awards:
Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver Awards – Commercial/Educational/Research Category Award of Excellence
BC Masonry Awards, Institutional Award of Excellence
Brick in Architecture Award – Silver, Education Category, The Brick Industry Association
Official Opening of Allard Hall
On September 23rd, 2011, UBC welcomed 300 students, staff, faculty, alumni and friends to the official opening ceremony of Allard Hall (click here for video). The program, hosted by Dean Mary Anne Bobinski, included remarks from the Chief Justice of Canada, the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin; the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, the Honourable Steven Point, OBC; and UBC President Stephen Toope; plus remarks from the two major donors to the building project, Peter A. Allard, Q.C., and The Law Foundation of British Columbia, represented by LFBC Chair, Margaret Sasges. (Mr. Allard’s speech is available in English, French, Spanish and Chinese).
Click here to view photos of the Opening Ceremony.
About Mr. Peter A. Allard, Q.C.
Lawyer, businessman and benefactor, Mr. Peter A. Allard, Q.C. received his B.A. from UBC in 1968 and his LL.B. from UBC in 1971. After graduation he practiced law for 20 years, founding his own law firm, Allard and Co. Since then, he has participated in a broad variety of business enterprises. Mr. Allard has also held leadership roles in human rights, environmental advocacy and other philanthropic work. In 1993, he established The Highbury Foundation, which has supported medical research and the purchase of medical equipment, and scholarships and buildings for universities and colleges in Western Canada.
Mr. Allard's $30 million gift to UBC in 2015, the largest gift ever to a Canadian law school, marked a transformational moment in the law school's history. He chose to make this investment to enable students to pursue a profession that strives to create a more just society. This historic donation will enable the Faculty to achieve global recognition for the strength of its programs and bring unprecedented benefits to students and faculty - both now and in the future.
Other projects that Mr. Allard has championed through his earlier gift of $11.86 million include the construction of Allard Hall, the creation of the law school's History Project, and the launch of the Allard Prize for International Integrity. The CAD $100,000 Allard Prize for International Integrity is awarded biennially to an individual, movement or organization that has demonstrated exceptional courage and leadership in combating corruption or protecting human rights, especially through promoting transparency, accountability, and the Rule of Law. The Allard Prize was launched in 2012 and became independent of the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia on June 21, 2019.
Mr. Allard's efforts reflect a defining characteristic of UBC law graduates: a commitment to the pursuit of justice. Like others before him and the generations that follow, Mr. Allard has sought to inspire and provoke, to persuade and persevere, and to pursue justice at the local and international levels. UBC is proud to recognize Mr. Allard's inspiring example to future generations through the law school and building that bear his name: the Peter A. Allard School of Law and Allard Hall.