Since its founding two decades ago, the mission of the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies has been to create collaborative, interdisciplinary, basic research programs for scholars at all stages of their career. It is one of only 30 similar institutions worldwide devoted to the free pursuit of learning and research at the highest levels. The Institute's achievements include the creation of a significant community of scholars – more than 350 Faculty Associates in total – at the University of British Columbia and an even wider global community of individuals and partner institutions.
In March 1999, the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies moved to its new, permanent facilities in the Leon & Thea Koerner University Centre, formerly the UBC Faculty Club. Completed in 1959 by Frederic Lasserre and Koyander & Wright Associated Architects, the building was closed in 1994, then reopened and renovated with the financial support of the Institute. The Institute occupies the top floor and the residential east wing, which in 2008 the University renamed as the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies. A new, imposing glass atrium that connects the main building and the east wing of administrative offices and guest rooms echoes the Erickson & Massey Associates’ later modernist additions to the University Centre and publicly identifies the Institute. The dedicated residential scholars’ area includes private research offices and the office of the Institute Director. The Institute’s conference facilities are available to the UBC community for research-related events.
The Institute's facilities and programs are intended to represent connecting points for unconstrained thinking in all fields of research.