On November 19, 2014 the UBC CSCE Student Chapter welcomed Paul Fast to provide a guest lecture titled “Architects and Engineers in Collaboration: Risks and Rewards.” As co-founder and managing partner of Fast + Epp, Paul enjoys working closely with architects, exploring innovative design solutions for economical material combinations. Often pushing the design envelope to create hybrids of timber, concrete, and steel, Paul has been recognized for his unconventional use of timber and has emerged a leader in architecturally exposed structures. On November 19th, we welcomed Paul to speak for fellow civil engineering and architecture students about “Architects and Engineers in Collaboration: Risks and Rewards”.
As a junior structural engineer, Paul and his friends travelled to Germany looking for inspirations. In particular, He noted the Kempinski Hotel in Munich. This hotel has a transparent lobby wall which was made by cable net system with extensive amount of glass. After the construction was finished, the wall could move up to 1.5m under heavy wind load, but the engineers proved to the city that it was safe.
After Paul had established his own consulting firm, he often worked closely with Perkins + Will, a world-renowned architecture firm, and accomplished a lot of innovative and award-winning projects together in Vancouver. Fast + Epp focuses on introducing wood into their designs to give a warm ambiance to the users and the environment. For example, the Brentwood Skystrian Station has ceilings covered with wood panels. Moreover, the Kingsway Pedestrian Bridge is mainly supported by an arch with eight wood beams. With the collaboration of engineers and architects, this arch was built to have a beautiful silhouette but light and flexible at the same time.
After many fascinating stories, Paul summarized three keys to a successful collaboration. As engineers, we should get involved at outset of design, be good listeners and be willing to accept risks. With those advices in mind, we shall be able to work with architects more efficiently and push the limits beyond our comfort zone together. The UBC CSCE Student Chapter would like to thank Paul Fast and Fast + Epp for presenting to our members.