By Christopher Macdonald
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Extra info for A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Vancouver
2009 33 West Pender Street Stadium, Waterfront exterior only DOWNTOWN EAST SIDE 39 BRUCE ERICKSEN PLACE In a city only recently constructed and often of fragile material substance, the question of how to perpetuate collective social history is challenging. In the context of this project for social housing, the challenge is ampliﬁed since the history being recalled is devoted not to those who exercised authority over the construction of the city, but rather to those who interceded in the human dimension of its daily life.
Whereas common practice in Gastown development retains only the street elevation – quite literally one brick thick – here, signiﬁcant aspects of the original structure are maintained. Wooden ﬂoors are pressed into service as permanent formwork for new concrete ﬂoors, which stabilize the front elevation while bearing on new concrete supports that mark the structural bays of the original wood columns. The thoughtfully detailed interior is focused on a generously dimensioned staircase that rises from basement to roof, crowned by a substantial skylight.
The project’s sustainability goals are most evident in the vast expanse of green roof – particularly striking when viewed from further west along the sea wall pedestrian path. Less evident but curious is the creation of an artiﬁcial reef along the harbour ﬂank of the building, visible at low tide. The positive engagement between building and plaza with the linear experience of the seawall has acquired public use even prior to the full implementation of the various functional programs. Architect LMN Architects, DA Architects + Planners, Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership Structure Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers Landscape PWL Partnership Landscape Architects Inc.
A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Vancouver by Christopher Macdonald