Melissa Higgs


Melissa is passionate about creating innovative public buildings where communities come together. She is a firm believer in the power of architecture and design to act as catalysts for positive change in the world.

Her focus has been designing recreation facilities and arts and culture projects, including the award-winning West Vancouver Community Centre, Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre in Surrey, BC, and the award-winning Clayton Community Centre — the first Passive House community centre in North America. She is also experienced with long-range vision plans that help shape our cities, including Granville Island 2040, OnWater, Vancouver’s non-motorized boating strategy, and VanSplash, the City’s aquatic strategy.

Melissa also plays a key role developing our brand and inclusive design services. She believes true cross-disciplinary design has the power to improve creative outcomes — the influence of this can be seen in her Clayton Community Centre project, which includes the #ConnectingClayton engagement strategy and an award-winning wayfinding and signage system.

In 2014, Melissa co-taught the Social Sustainability in Practice course, as well as three architectural design studios, at the University of British Columbia School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA). She is a past member of AIBC’s Diverse Membership Group, the City of Surrey’s Advisory Design Panel, and was the past Chair of the University of British Columbia Advisory Urban Design Panel. She is current Chair of Board of Directors for Downtown Van and a member of the Advisory Board for the renowned Design Colloquium.

Melissa loves being an architect because of the opportunities it provides to innovate, be curious, and give back to her community.