3 Civic Plaza is to Surrey’s City Centre what the Marine Building was to Vancouver’s downtown in the 1930s. It is a form-maker today for the emerging second urban center in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland region, and it will be a landmark for decades to come. Rising to 52 storeys, and home to western Canada’s first Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel, 3 Civic Plaza is the tallest tower south of the Fraser River. Designed to complement its surroundings while adding an iconic quality to Surrey’s emerging City Centre, 3 Civic Plaza features 353 residential units, Marriott’s 144-room hotel, Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s new urban campus, a rooftop garden, a state-of-the-art fitness facility, and a sweeping central lobby that unites the building’s many uses. Stakeholder groups were engaged to envisage the Civic Plaza of the future, and determine a mix of uses appropriate to the existing City Centre, while predicting and successfully responding to future requirements. The challenge of structurally-different uses was addressed through a unique solution: an innovative external concrete shear wall with distinctive, guitar pick-shaped window openings. The building element allowed for flexibility in planning the configuration of space, circulation, and structure to best suit each use. Sustainable design and user comfort strategies include natural ventilation, hydronic heating, and connection to a district energy system.