LA Studios

Occupying a 14-acre site in downtown Los Angeles, the LA studios redevelopment represents a fundamental shift in mixed-use urban design in Southern California. Centred on a pedestrian oriented ‘main street’ comprised of local serving retail and employment spaces, the studio site aims to accommodate all types of housing tenures and incomes while mixing unique film-related employment and local commercial activity to coalesce in a vibrant and active community.

Designed around people-oriented streets with cars well accommodated in the background, the intent is to create a real neighbourhood, with opportunities to walk to all basic daily needs. Comprised of over 6 million sq.ft. of development, the plan represents one of the most significant developments in the US.

Vanness

This 450,000 SF mixed-use development proposal delivers 440 rental housing units, neighbourhood retail, a mid-block pedestrian link and a daycare facility immediately adjacent to the Joyce Skytrain station.

We love projects like these that bring together complementary uses, improve neighbourhood connectivity and amenity while delivering much-needed new housing.

Strathcona VPL/YWCA

The necá?mat ct Strathcona VPL/YWCA ‘Cause we Care House’ Project is a joint project of the City of Vancouver, the Vancouver Public Library and the YWCA. The building integrates three component parts: a new Library Branch, 21 affordable family housing units and program space for single mothers and their children operated by the YWCA.

The new Library Branch serves the Downtown Eastside, Strathcona and Chinatown areas. It provides full library services including a book collection, computers, a children’s programming space, a teen programming space, multipurpose meeting spaces, maker-space, reading areas and library staff workspace. The project achieved LEED™ Gold Certification.

The architecture was conceived to present a welcoming, double-storey ‘living-room’ open to Hastings Street. The striking faceted glazed library frontage stands out on the block of commercial storefronts to signal its intention to engage with the neighbourhood. A second storey meeting room that is shared by all uses and can be rented by the public is cantilevered over the sidewalk and main entrance to be seen and to project its public function into the street. A neon VPL sign celebrates the local retail signage and character of East Hastings street and its landmarks like the Astoria and Ted Harris Paints. Robust but refined materials, brightly coloured balcony elements and outdoor amenities on the laneway side help to add vibrancy to the area and distinguish the building as a local landmark and community amenity.

River District Parcel 29

Parcel 29 is a gateway tower to the waterfront precinct of the River District. It will function as both a conduit and a platform for the emergent urban life of the waterfront area. The courtyard space between Parcel 29 and Parcel 30 to the south will act as an important public space for local residents. We have imagined the building edges and courtyard spaces as moments of interference to the predominant flow of people running north south along river district crossing. Inspired by the river ‘Eddy’ we imagine that the spaces around the building can offer opportunities for people to pause and to gather.

The central public space is a critical gathering area for the neighbourhood, connecting to the future public areas to the south and the future community centre. The central courtyard is characterized by a terraced grassy knoll that offers a unique connectivity to the adjacent building edges adjacent to it. The ‘rippled edges’ of the cast-in-place ribbed façade profile reference the site’s history in the heavy logging industry and proximity to the Fraser River.

Band

675 North Road is located along one of Coquitlam’s main transit corridors, near the Evergreen Line’s Burquitlam Station. The project features a continuous dark clad ‘band’ that wraps the podium perimeter and extends up both towers, unifying the massing, reducing the apparent width of the towers, and announcing the main entry points. At-grade commercial units along North Road and ground-level two-storey townhomes for both the north rental tower and south condo tower contribute to the pedestrian-focused public realm.

The storefront and townhome frontages share a strong language of recessed vertical piers to create individual bays, while a similar horizontal gesture helps break down the height of the taller tower to provide deeper terraces and common rooftop decks. Numerous public and private gathering spaces are designed into various rooftops.

Marina Centre

Marina Centre is a large mixed-use development in the San Miguel neighbourhood of Lima. The project represents a new vision of what urban living in Lima could look like. It inverts the recent vernacular of inward-looking courtyards, gates, and fences and turns the building to face the street. The four towers are arranged around a multi-level central outdoor public mall with a continuous edge of retail on the three street faces.

The terraced building forms are shaped to allow for maximum daylighting of the public spaces both at grade and on the various upper-level terraces. The project includes a supermarket, theatre, offices, gym, hotel, residential apartments, restaurants, and retail. Designed with the local community in mind, the building offers an opportunity to reinvigorate a part of the city that has not seen a lot of investment in recent years.

The Mark

Winner of UDI’s best urban high rise for 2014, the Mark is a ground-breaking mixed-use urban project characterized by green walls, urban agriculture, green roofs and a high-performance envelope. Movable sunscreens characterize the East podium while an integrated daycare and unique angled podiums activate the laneway and street edges.

Public art by Sonny Assu was incorporated as a key design element. Alan Boniface led the design team while Adrian Politano was instrumental in the project’s realization. The project was designed to a LEED Gold Standard.

East Hastings & Semlin

1943-1999 East Hastings located along a major transit arterial in the heart of the Grandview-Woodland neighbourhood, close to the thriving Commercial Drive corridor. Along with at-grade retail and live-work units, an outdoor ‘urban room’ contributes to the vibrancy of the public realm, anchoring the corner of the building and connecting the building to the life of the street. In response to the movement along East Hastings, sawtooth balconies help create the building’s dynamic form while optimizing building energy performance with a simplified envelope.

Inspired by the neighbouring light industrial buildings, the textured cladding reinforces the building’s angles and adds visual interest throughout different lighting conditions. All units enjoy private outdoor space as well as a shared rooftop amenity terrace with views of Downtown Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains.

The Charleson

Situated adjacent to Vancouver’s thriving Yaletown neighbourhood, The Charleson occupies a small site characterized by a triangulated overhead view cone. Rental and for sale housing is mixed with an active retail podium. The previously dormant laneway is activated with retail and residential components and a critical pedestrian cut-through angled towards the Seawall and adjacent parks.

Each floor plate required careful design to accommodate suites within a constrained geometry and within a very small floor plate. A 43 storey by 30 foot-wide mural by Elizabeth Mcintosh highlights the building’s south façade and enlivens the City’s downtown.

Northern Junk

Located at the head of the Johnson St Bridge between Old-Town and Inner-harbour. Currently isolated between Reeson Park and Bridgehead Green park, the site offers the potential to complete a key piece of the public realm and neighbourhood revitalization. It consists of a multi-unit residential apartment building set atop the existing Northern Junk heritage warehouse buildings that are to be rehabilitated and incorporated into a mixed-use development.

It brings together active ground level uses, new housing options, and an integrated public access and extension of the public waterfront walkway.