Awards · History · urban design

Volumetric Preservation maybe ’cause it sure isn’t heritage or conservation

A 120 year old house is stripped of its 1960s era stucco. Underneath, original siding with an uncommon profile is revealed and looked to be in great shape. The next day the siding is ripped of the house and tossed. The house is gutted and all of the interior fittings hit the disposal bin. The porch… Continue reading Volumetric Preservation maybe ’cause it sure isn’t heritage or conservation

History · urban design · Vancouver · walking tours

Wednesday Night Heritage Walks!

This summer we’re looking at some quirky and interesting bits of the city. Walks start at 7:00pm and cost 10 bucks.  No reservations needed, just show up at the location listed. Walks go regardless of the weather. July 13 – Strathcona: the other side of the tracks The area between the CN tracks and Clark… Continue reading Wednesday Night Heritage Walks!

Chinatown · History · urban design · Vancouver

Around and Around We Go…

Sometimes the third time isn’t lucky. The Beedie Group has revamped their proposed tower at 105 Keefer yet again. But they really haven’t learned much in the intervening months since pulling their previous design. If you are going to build on the edge of a nationally significant community, it pays to understand the place and… Continue reading Around and Around We Go…

History · urban design · Vancouver

Plan Books and Vancouver

The vast majority of homes built in Vancouver and the surrounding municipalities were not the work of local architects but from designs found in plan books. Published in the US and Canada, these books illustrated a variety of designs that were available in plan form from the publisher. Companies such as Radford, Keith, Wilson and others… Continue reading Plan Books and Vancouver

History · In The Background · Vancouver

In the Background: Ladies up High

It’s fun to poke around in the background of photographs. This section from a 1913 photo from City of Vancouver Archives shows the view east over downtown towards the False Creek flats. In the enlarged view – checking to see details of a building in the background  – I noticed these three ladies with wonderful hats up… Continue reading In the Background: Ladies up High

Chinatown · History · urban design · Vancouver

Good Intent & Design Fail in Chinatown

Inserting new structures into older urban environments can be tricky. The rhythm of the street and its storefronts, sidewalk width, building height etc. all play a role in the success of any new building. But then, despite the best of intentions from the planners it fails at a certain level. The Keefer Block at the corner… Continue reading Good Intent & Design Fail in Chinatown