Meet Veteran Proscenium Employee Greg Piccini !!!

Where were you born?  New Westminster, B.C.
How did you get into design? Why?  I was surrounded by contractors growing up and was interested in watching buildings get built.  Once I found out what architects were and what they did, I figured, “Why not?”
What class in school has proven to be the least useful?  Definitely a class I took on Form-Z computer modelling.  Does that program even exist anymore?
What is the best building of all time?  Best?  Not sure, but the Pantheon in Rome is pretty amazing.  It makes your stomach drop when you walk into it.
Best meal in Vancouver?  Anything at Campagnolo or Le Faux Bourgeois.
What do you never leave home without?  Blundstone boots, black MEC (formerly known as Mountain Equipment Co-op) bag, and watch.
Your Great Escape would be to?  A multi-day hike in the mountains that no one else knows about or an architectural walking tour through Scandinavia.
What single piece of technology makes your life easier? Bicycle gears, especially in this city.
Grapes or raisins? Grapes in the summer, raisins in the winter.
Favourite season? Fall, before it gets too dark and wet.
If you could have one super power, what would it be? Time-travel.

Pipe Shop Completed

We are excited to present our freshly completed renovation of the Pipe Shop Venue at the Shipyards, in North Vancouver. Accessible washrooms, a servery, a projector surface, and fresh paint were added to the 1940’s Pipefitter’s Building – a 9,050 square foot community hall at the base of Lonsdale Avenue. Check out the full project description in our WORK section!



Photography by Sam Pat.



Energia Prize: Letter of Congratulations

Following the Energia Prize we received last May, we’ve received a congratulation letter from the Minister of “Développement Durable, Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatique” of the province of Quebec. We thought we’d share the letter:



 I would like to address my most sincere congratulations on winning the “AQME Prize” during the 2017 Energia Contest organized by l’Association québécoise pour la maitrise de l’énergie (Quebec Association of Energy Efficiency). This prize crowns the efforts you demonstrated in implementing exemplary energy efficient and greenhouse gas emission-reducing practices.

You have understood: relying on energy efficiency and renewable energy is a winning choice! Thanks to its integrated concept, the Mountain Equipment Co-op Head Office in Vancouver is now a model for energy efficiency and sustainability. I congratulate you!

 With this project, you are working in the direction of Quebec’s objectives in matters of sustainable development and the fight against climate change, one of the largest issues of our century. Society needs now, more than ever, companies and organisations who, like you and your client, choose to be leaders in reducing their ecological footprint.

 I encourage you to continue innovating and expressing your creativity by implementing environmentally friendly practices in the development of all your projects. Every effort counts! The sum of all our actions will allow us to build a more carbon-responsible economy. In other words, let us work together and offer our children a better quality of life.

 Please gentlemen, have my most sincere salutations.


David Heurtel


Congratulations to the whole MEC Head Office team!

The 27th Energia Contest recognizes Pageau Morel!

The 27th Energia Contest recognizes excellence in Quebecois achievements and celebrates local genius in matters of energy efficiency in categories related to building, technological innovations, industrial processes and manufacturing, transportation, integrated design and greenhouse gas emissions reduction.

Pageau Morel was recognized as the electrical and mechanical engineering firm on the design team of MEC’s Head Office, which was designed using an integrated design process involving all consultants from the beginning of the design process. The goal was to achieve the highest degree of energy efficiency possible and to have the least negative impact on the environment.

Congratulations to all the winners!

“Le concours Énergia reconnait l’excellence des réalisations québécoises et célèbre le génie d’ici en matière d’efficacité énergétique dans des catégories touchant le bâtiment, les innovations technologiques, les procédés industriels ou manufacturiers, le transport, la gestion intégrée et la réduction de l’émission de gaz à effet de serre…

…Le siège social Mountain Equipment Co-op a été réalisé en conception intégrée, c’est-à-dire en réunissant dès le début tous les intervenants du projet. Le but était d’atteindre la meilleure efficacité énergétique possible et d’avoir le moins d’impacts négatifs sur l’environnement.”

Pipe Shop Venue Renovation – North Vancouver

We are thrilled to see the community embrace our recently completed renovation of The Pipe Shop Venue at the Shipyards, in North Vancouver. Since opening on April 8th, The Pipe Shop has hosted weddings, yoga classes, galas, dinners, pop-up markets, night markets, early learning initiatives, photo shoots, and private events.

The Pipe Shop, built in the 1940’s and previously known as the Pipefitter’s Building, was originally used to construct piping systems for the local shipbuilding market until 1991. Today, the facility serves as a community venue, with a large open plan and high ceiling providing plenty of flexibility for a rapidly densifying and evolving neighbourhood.

The renovation provides further opportunities for the public by adding washrooms, a projector surface, a servery, storage, and janitorial facilities. Our interior addition was designed to take up as little space as possible, allowing plenty of open space for events. Space for a future upper floor and additional programming has been provided behind the projector surface.

The hyper-modern addition, set against the old warehouse, brings attention to the history and cultural value of the shipyards through their contrasting materials. The projector screen is set in the center of the facility, reinforcing the one-point vanishing perspective generated by the building’s symmetry. Splashes of red were introduced to raise energy levels, invoke feelings of excitement and intensity, stimulate conversation, create a strong first impression, and evoke feelings of love, warmth, and comfort. Three shades of white and two shades of red paint were used to further accent the geometry within the venue.

All photos by Annette Cheung

Proscenium wins AIBC Special Jury Award for Christ Church Cathedral!

We are honoured to have received The AIBC Special Jury Award for the long term stewardship of a significant heritage resource and seismic upgrading technology for our work on the Restoration and Renewal of the Christ Church Cathedral.

The C.C.C. team included Hugh Cochlin, Matthew Kurnicki, Ron Clay, Ben Nielsen, Sarah Piccinato and Sara Theuerkauf.

We couldn’t have done it without The Christ Church Cathedral Vancouver Parish, The Iredale Group, RJC, and Scott Construction.

Ron Clay and Ben Nielsen

Progress Report: Jericho Tennis Club hot tub

The tiling for both the JTC hot tub and pool are being filled for testing.

Although there is much to be done, one can now envision just how awesome it will be to relax in the tub, jets firing and take in the spectacular mountain view from this beach-front project site.

Seeking Intermediate Interior Designer

We are currently seeking an intermediate level Interior Designer with 3 to 4 years of postgraduate experience. This individual must be confident enough with interior detailing to take on projects, develop a work plan and work well both independently and as part of a team.

Proscenium provides a cooperative and positive work environment and an interesting range of cultural and private sector projects. We offer a competitive level of remuneration, job security and extended benefits for self-motivated team players interested in a long-term relationship with our firm. Proscenium covers professional dues, contributes to on-going education funding and discusses staffing over local craft brews. We snowboard and ski together, golf together, and close our office over the Holidays.

Successful applicants must have skills and experience matching the position available.

  • AutoCAD, MS Office (Revit, Sketch-up, Adobe CS an asset)
  • BC Building code
  • Sustainable Design (LEED / Passive house accreditation an asset)
  • Design and Construction Drawings
  • Construction Contract Administration
  • Interior Detailing
  • RID or completion in the next 2 years
  • Experience with Permit intakes

Work will be completed under the supervision of an architect. If you possess these skills and experience level, please send your resume and sample portfolio highlighting relevant experience, current references and contact information along with a brief letter of introduction outlining your employment expectations and goals. Packages are to be sent by email only to


We apologise in advance if we do not respond to all enquiries.


Canadian Architect article on climate change

“Proscenium Architecture + Interiors designed Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Vancouver headquarters to underscore the company’s sustainability agenda, using daylighting and advanced air control systems that allow it to be 70 percent more energy efficient than a conventional office building.” -Canadian Architect Magazine

climate-change-2Photo by Ed White Photographics

The Heat is On

CCC Bell Tower on the Daily Hive


MEC Stores-Edmonton

We are very excited about the completion of the newest MEC store in Edmonton!

The MEC South Edmonton Common store received final occupancy on Thursday and it’s looking great.



Meanwhile, the store in the Brewery District (relocation of the downtown store),

is moving along quickly and is starting to really take shape.



Bell Tower Lighting

It’s getting darker and darker earlier and earlier. That meant we didn’t have to be up too late on a school night for PAI to be on-site for the focusing and commissioning of the Christ Church Cathedral bell tower lighting. Silver linings.



Bells will be ringing…

Christ Church Cathedral – bell ringing test Monday August 22, 2016


Interesting Article on NLT from

We were delighted to read Lloyd Alter’s article on Proscenium’s use of old construction tech on the MEC Head Office.

Check it out here:

“Whats new is what’s old. Proscenium Architecture, working with engineers Fast + Epp, are using technology that much of west coast industrial and commercial buildings were built with for 150 years.

Mill decking, now known as Nail Laminated Timber (NLT), is not nearly as sexy as CLT; it’s basically just banging lumber together, but it is well known to engineers and building inspectors, can be done by anyone, and not limited to the one or two suppliers of CLT.

The MEC building is the biggest example of a new wave of old tech that we will be seeing a lot more of.”

Interior stair



Christ Church Cathedral Bell-Spire

A crowning feature of the current project is the addition of the highly anticipated bell-spire at the north-east corner of the Cathedral,  set atop the existing elevator core. This open glass and steel structure housing four electronically controlled and custom cast bronze bells will be one of the last Architectural additions to this project.

This weekend was an exciting milestone, as the bells were lifted into place – followed by the installation of the cross. The cross is designed to compliment the stained glass and steel bell tower, and is composed of laminated sandwiches of blackened stainless steel and stained glass.







Christ Church Cathedral Bell Tower



On Friday July 8th, 2016, crews lifted into place the two halves of the new Christ Church Cathedral Bell Tower.

The tower was constructed and painted offsite to take advantage of the precision assembly and coating possible in a controlled shop environment. It was constructed in two halves because the transmission of gravity loads generated by lifting the entire tower would have blown in the walls of adjacent underground parking structures.

Look forward to the arrival of the bells and cross in two weeks!


Meet Proscenium’s Employee – Lisa Doucette

lisaphoto (2)


Lisa  Doucette

Where were you born?

Inglewood, Southern California

How did you get into design?

I was drawn to the energy that working in an artistic environment brings.

What class in school has proven to be the least useful?

I was fortunate to attend San Francisco State University which had crazy-interesting courses and fantastic teachers. No regrets.

What is the best building of all time? 

Wayfarer’s Chapel (aka “the glass church”) on the Palos Verdes Peninsula is built amongst redwoods, overlooks the Pacific and is the most peaceful place I’ve been.

Best brunch spot in Vancouver is…

…Mamie Taylor’s

You never leave home without…

…telling my boys I love them.

Your Great Escape would be to…  

…a rented country house in the South of France

What single piece of technology makes your life easier?


What is your spirit animal?

The Bear

What word do you have trouble saying?


What gets better with age?


Sarah Piccinato has been made an Associate at Proscenium!


Sarah Profile Picture

It is with great pride, honour and excitement that Proscenium announces that, effective immediately,

Sarah Piccinato has been made an Associate with the firm.

In addition to her broad range of design skills displayed over her tenure here at Proscenium, Sarah brings extensive management experience and has already stepped into the day to day running of various aspects of this office. We are delighted to have her as a part of the management team and can’t wait to see how she whips us all into shape!

In addition to Sarah’s new position and contribution we are also very pleased to announce that Sarah has completed the interior design registration process and now can add the letters R.I.D. after her name. Congratulations Sarah on this milestone!

On all of our behalf, congratulations Sarah and we look forward to many more years of watching your achievements.


The good folk here at Proscenium.

MEC’s Head Office graces cover of Interior Designers of Canada’s D Magazine

Our own Kerri Shinkewski was interviewed for the brand new Spring 2016 edition of D magazine! The article explores the use of sustainability practices in the design of the MEC Head Office.



Meet Proscenium’s Employee – James Bligh!


James Aaron Volpé Bligh

Where were you born?  

North Vancouver

Where did you go to school? Why?

Like many architects, I wanted to design buildings from a young age. In typical high school fashion, I did zero research on my dream career and applied for structural engineering at the University of Waterloo. Five years later I had the degree but I was not designing buildings in the capacity that I had imagined. I spent a year at Emily Carr working on my design skills in a bid to get into a Masters of Architecture program, and the next year I started at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.

As a B.C. native, it was always my desire to go to school and live on the West Coast. I went to Waterloo as it was the best institution in the country for engineering, and I went to the Daniels faculty as they were the only architecture school willing to take a chance on a very left-brained engineering student. It took me ten years out of the province before I got to go home. Now I cherish the city more than ever.

What class in school has proven to be the least useful?

Differential Equations V.

What’s your most prized article of black clothing?

My black-on-black Chuck Taylors.

What is the best building of all time?  

I have a soft spot for the Museum of Anthropology by Arthur Erickson, however I would have to say perhaps the Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudí, the Church of the Light by Tadao Ando, the Barcelona Pavilion by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, or the Säynätsalo Town Hall by Alvar Aalto.

What are some of your favourite micro-breweries/food-trucks in Vancouver?  

The Alibi Room can be found in a 100-year-old heavy timber heritage building by Port Metro Vancouver; when the trains go by you can sense the bottles behind the bar shaking at the proximity of the massive locomotive engines. Further, they have an unparalleled number of taps.

What do you never leave home without?  

My wood glasses.

Your Great Escape would be to?  

Finland or Japan; I have a very long list of architecture to see in both countries. After that, the lightning fields and James Turrel’s work in the New Mexico Desert.

If you could only play three albums in the studio, what would they be? 

Theme to Homeworld 2 (an old computer game made by some locals), Delta Waves, and the Google Play Music soundtrack “Wobblin’ Dubstep”.

What single piece of technology makes your life easier?

It took a long time to get used to, but having a WACOM Tablet has been an irreplaceable tool when I have been doing complex graphic design.

What magazine do you look for when you are stuck in a waiting room?

Detail and Gray.

What word do you have trouble saying?


What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday?

Wake up late, make coffee with my chemex, play one (or two) rounds of Dota 2, get some design work or writing done, and then date night with my wife J


What have you been up to lately?

I was recently on the Jury for the AIBC Architectural Awards, I am writing for Vancouver is Awesome as their local architecture & urbanism rep, and I am helping my parents renovate their condo to recapture some of that 1950’s modernist magic from the old bungalow they used to live in.

MEC Head Office Informational Video



Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd. recently completed a beautiful informational video of the MEC Head Office. The video has interviews from Sandy Treagus (CFO, MEC), Tanya Luthi (Engineer, Fast + Epp), our very own Hugh Cochlin and many more talking about the building from design to construction to every day use.

To view the video, follow the link here:

MEC Head Office 10

Proscenium Ski Day!





Proscenium enjoyed some well deserved time outside with a team ski day up on Cypress Mountain. Lucky we picked one of the best days to go up, with fresh powder on the slopes and no lines at the lifts!Proscenium Ski Day! Proscenium Ski Day! Proscenium Ski Day!Proscenium Ski Day! Proscenium Ski Day!

MEC Head Office Featured in a Japanese Magazine

MEC Head Office featured in Japanese Wood Building Magazine


The MEC Head Office was featured in the Japanese Wood Building Magazine. It looks at our high use of wood throughout the building.

Meet Proscenium’s Employees

Ben Nielsen


Benjamin Leif Nielsen

Where were you born? 

Brockville, Ontario

Where did you go to school? Why?

University of Waterloo. Proximity, but in retrospect it suited me, lots of ‘why’ along with the ‘how’.

What class in school has proven to be the least useful?

Dedicated class on using Form-Z.

What’s your most prized article of black clothing?


What is the best building of all time?  

Zumthor’s Vals Thermae.

What are some of your favorite micro-breweries/food-trucks in Vancouver?  

Local Omnivore.

What do you never leave home without?  


Your Great Escape would be to?  

Cayoosh Creek.

If you could only play three albums in the studio, what would they be? 

They would be podcasts, not music.

What single piece of technology makes your life easier?

The wheel.

What magazine do you look for when you are stuck in a waiting room?

Highlights. But I try not to touch things in waiting rooms.

What word do you have trouble saying?

None, my prodigious vocabulary is matched only by my otherwise peerless elocution.

What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday?

Sleeping in, reading, video games and overly elaborate meals.


Wood Design Conference Presenters

MEC Head Office Staircase

This past week, Hugh and Greg presented at the Wood Design conferences in Victoria and Kelowna, respectively. They told participants about the methodology that went into designing the MEC Head Office in Vancouver. They got to talk about the advantages to using wood, a renewable and carbon capturing resource.

Here is a write-up from the Kelowna presentation:

Spooky Office Fun

Some of the staff carved pumpkins to add some spooky cheer to the office stairwell.



Shine Auto Wash and Storguard


Our Shine Auto Wash and Storguard build in Burnaby is coming along. This state of the art, fully automated car wash facility translates the simple task of washing a car into a spectacle. shineburnaby

Proscenium to work with MEC creating a new flagship store

MEC has begun the process to create a new flagship store in the Vancouver Olympic Village by mid-2018. The store 45,000 sq. ft. store will be located at 2nd Avenue and Quebec Street, just steps away from the Seawall.

The building will target LEED Gold certification and feature an undulating green roof that will capture rain run off.



Langara’s Science and Technology Building’s Steel Structure

The Langara Science and Technology continues to make good progress. Below you can find some of the work that has been done on the steel structure.

Photos by Latreille Architectural Photography

Photo by Latreille Architectural Photography


Langara Science and Student Services Steel - Teeple Architects

Photo by Latreille Architectural Photography

Langara Science and Student Services Steel - Teeple Architects

Photo by Latreille Architectural Photography

Langara Science and Student Services Steel - Teeple Architects

Photo by Latreille Architectural Photography

Langara Science and Student Services Steel - Teeple Architects

Photo by Latreille Architectural Photography

Private Residence House Progress

Our project for a private residence here in Vancouver is coming along.

The front of the house has been finished in stucco and composite panels. There will be a cedar screen in front of the Master Bedroom window that will be able to slip open for more daylight or be closed for more privacy. The Living room window will have a translucent film applied to its lower 4′ for visual privacy while still allowing in daylight.


Private Residence, back view


Private Residence, front view



Meet Proscenium’s Employees!

Shereen Chak

Name? Shereen Chak

Where were you born? Toronto, Ontario

Where did you go to school? Why? I went to University of British Columbia for Architecture school. I believe that sustainability and awareness of the natural environment is important for design, plus I love how beautiful and culturally diverse Vancouver is!

What class in school has proven to be the least useful? Philosophy of Art. it has not proved useful so far.

What’s your most prized article of black clothing? My black jeans, because I can almost wear it anytime anywhere.

What is the best building of all time?   Wang Shu- New Academy of Art and Sanaa Architects- Rolex Learning Center

What are some of your favourite micro-breweries/food-trucks in Vancouver? Tacofino

Your Great Escape would be to? Botswana

What single piece of technology makes your life easier? GPS

What word do you have trouble saying? Worcestershire sauce

What is your favourite way to spend a Saturday? Snowboarding up in Whistler and then soaking in a hot tub

New West Scavenger Hunt

Last Friday the staff of Proscenium did a scavenger hunt out in New Westminster. We learnt about some New West history and architecture, then had a fabulous time at Steele & Oak where we drank excellent beer, ate some delicious BBQ and enjoyed the sunny weather.

New West Scavenger hunt

UBC Pool/Gym Renovation

Proscenium recently completed a renovation of one of the pools up at UBC and converted it into a new gym space.

UBC Gym-Pool renovation



Proscenium accepts 2015 SABMag Award

Proscenium, along with MEC and the consultant teams, is excited to be honoured with a 2015 Canadian Green Building Award for the work done on the Mountain Equipment Coop Head Office here in Vancouver.  Congratulations to all!

IMG_2198 MEC_Ext-322

Proscenium’s on Instagram

We have joined the visual social media community and started our own Instagram account. Follow us at #prosceniumarchid to see up-to-date project photos and all the excitement we get up to in the office.

Proscenium Instagram

Proscenium collects items for the WISH Charity

wish charity logo

Last week Proscenium organized a clothing and item drive for the WISH Charity. The WISH Charity focuses exclusively on aiding female sex workers by providing a non-judgemental place where they can get nutritious hot meals, showers and hygiene items and clothing. They also help by providing an on-site nurse, referrals to detox centres/rehabilitation houses and shelters for upwards of 150 women.

Thank you to all of our collaborators and friends that dropped off clothing and items to our office May 4th-8th!

Langara’s Science and Technology building progression

The new Science and Technology building continues to progress towards its June 2016 opening. This week, the temporary shores have been removed and the cantilever is now realized.


Langara Science and Technology Building Langara Science and Technology Building

New Langara Science building taking shape

The new Science and Technology building at Langara College is progressing quickly. The steel structure is in the process of being erected and the cantilever support structure will be removed in a couple of weeks. The building is targeting to open its doors to students in June 2016.

Langara Science and Student Services Steel - Teeple Architects Langara Science and Student Services Steel - Teeple Architects Langara Science and Student Services Steel - Teeple Architects

Meet Proscenium’s Employees!

Name?  Austin Lidstone

Where were you born?  Vancouver, BC

Where did you go to school? Why? I studied Interior Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. At the time it was the only accredited degree Interior Design program in BC. Staying local also meant more manageable student loans.

What class in school has proven to be the least useful? I had a mandatory 1st year communications class where the prof could have used some lessons in communication himself.

What’s your most prized article of black clothing? A pair of leather wedge ankle boots.

What are some of your favorite micro-breweries/food-trucks in Vancouver?  Main Street Brewery, Tacofino Cantina, Vij’s Railway Express.

What do you never leave home without? Shoes.

Your Great Escape would be to? Tour the Galapagos Islands

If you could only play three albums in the studio, what would they be? Broken Social Scene – ‘Forgiveness Rock Record’, Polica – ‘Give You the Ghost’, and Brasstronaut – ‘Mount Chimaera’

What single piece of technology makes your life easier? Cliché but true. My iPhone.

What magazine do you look for when you are stuck in a waiting room?  I usually just grab the first fashion magazine that’s available. Typically the weekly news magazines are months old and I’m too embarrassed to flip through the trashy tabloids in public.

What word do you have trouble saying? Sea anemone

What is your favorite way to spend a Saturday? Outside either on the mountain, in the forest or at the water. Nothing beats a great Vancouver day hiking with friends (and animals), a picnic lunch and a few brews.


West First Theatre Centre Takes Shape

The West First Theatre Centre is taking shape with construction moving forward at an impressive pace.  The walls around the studio theatre space are being built, giving us the first hints at what the newest performance venue in Vancouver will feel like.  Framing is being installed for the balcony which will overlook the triple height lobby, while the rehearsal and office spaces are well under way including a new bank of windows on the north side which will maximize daylight.  WFTCBP

MEC Head Office wins Wood Design Award!

MEC Head Office 10

Proscenium is pleased to announce that the MEC Head Office in Vancouver has won a Wood Design Award in the commercial projects category at the Canadian Wood Council’s 2015 Wood Design Awards.

We worked with MEC to create a green building for their head office that would reflect their unique corporate culture which puts emphasis on environmental sustainability and employee wellbeing.  The resulting heavy timber structure is the largest wood building in Vancouver.

Congratulations to MEC and all the consultant teams who saw this project through to completion!


Meet Proscenium’s Employees!


Name? Adrian Wong

Where were you born?  Vancouver

Where did you go to school? Why?  University College Dublin. It was 20 minutes from my house, plus it’s the oldest school of architecture in the country, has strong teaching staff and promotes a considered design ethos.

What’s your most prized article of black clothing?  My new New Balance runners

Who do you have an architectural/interior design crush on?  Joshua Prince-Ramus

What is the best building of all time?  Teshima Art Museum

What are some of your favourite micro-breweries/food-trucks in Vancouver?    Still trying to work that out.

What was your most recent splurge?  My new New Balance runners

Your Great Escape would be to?  Eventually want to explore the interior of Canada on a road trip and see all its landscapes.


Name?  Alexandra Tresa

Where were you born?  Vancouver

Where did you go to school? Why?  I went to BCIT (British Columbia Institute of Technology). I like that their programs have a more practical and hands on approach to education.

What’s your most prized article of black clothing?  Does my invincible mini umbrella count as an article of clothing? Let’s go with that.

What is the best building of all time?  The Florence Cathedral is pretty spectacular!

What are some of your favourite micro-breweries/food-trucks in Vancouver?  Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck, Aussie Pie Guy and Vij’s Railway Express.

What do you never leave home without?  My umbrella. You never really know in Vancouver.

What are you doing for fun when you’re not at Proscenium?  There’s fun outside Proscenium?

What was your most recent splurge?  Cashmere sweater.

Your Great Escape would be to?  Australia or Iceland.

Artist Selected for Christ Church Bell Spire

Proscenium has been working with Christ Church Cathedral on restoring their heritage cathedral over the last decade.  The current phase of work sees the restoration of the roof along with the construction of a 1oo foot tall bell spire clad in stained glass.  The bell spire is one step closer to reality with the selection of Canadian artist, Sarah Hall and her stained glass design, “Welcoming Light.”

Work is slated to begin this spring with completion in time for Christmas 2015.

Read more about the selection of the artist and the restoration campaign:

Christ Church Cathedral – “Raise the Roof Campaign”

Vancity Buzz



2014 AWMAC Awards – Austeville Head Office

We are pleased to report that Seagull Enterprises is the recipient of a 2014 AWMAC Award for their architectural millwork on the Austeville Properties Head Office project.  The Ed Russell Award recognizes the “overall excellence in quality and service” on a small commercial project. Proscenium served as the Architect and CDC Construction as the general contractor.


PAI AWMAC awards

Proscenium in the News!

Mountain Equipment Coop’s move into its recently completed head office on Great Northern Way has been generating a lot of buzz.  It’s the building’s small environmental footprint and design which encourages staff interaction and well-being which has been getting the most attention.   We were thrilled to once again work with MEC as this project as with other MEC buildings we have designed, keeps true to their commitment to innovative and sustainable building practices. 

Click on the links to the stories below to learn more about this exciting project!

Canadian Architect

Vancouver Sun

Business in Vancouver

Western Living

Vancity Buzz

MEC Exterior

mec splice 1

Patagonia’s Vancouver Flagship Coming Soon


Proscenium is hard at work with Patagonia on their new Vancouver store, the first in city and only the second in Canada. The West 4th flagship location in Kitsilano is targeted to open at the end of November just in time for the Christmas shopping season.

This adaptive re-use project retains much of the existing building, salvaging as much material as possible for the new store. The concept is to return the building back to its 1950’s roots by sandblasting the floor and exposing the original ceiling. A unique element is the use of rusting corten steel for the exterior shingles that will naturally age, which along with the raw steel canopy will reflect the building’s industrial warehouse heritage.

Escher Victoria – Take a peak inside.

Proscenium once again has the pleasure of working with Chard Development, this time on the interiors for their new residential development in Victoria, “Escher”.   The project is coming together, with the display suite now open, and website launched.  Here are some renderings to illustrate what awaits future residents of Escher.

For more information, check out the project’s website.


escher web

Aston Martin Vancouver Opens its Doors!

The Aston Martin showroom is finally finished, complete with shiny new merchandise on the showroom floor. We understand that they have a great coffee machine. Work continues for our team on the Bentley showroom, the sister showroom for 1770 Burrard.7



Stunning bell spire to grace Christ Church Cathedral

ccc final web

Proscenium has long worked with Christ Church Cathedral through extensive renovations which have rehabilitated the landmark church with a keen eye to retain and restore its heritage properties.  The restoration work has gone a long way to ensure that Christ Church is able to accommodate its parishioners and have the ability to carry out their important work in the community.

In an exciting development, Christ Church is now moving forward with a phase of the project that will likely catch your eye, if you don’t hear it first.   A visually stunning glass and steel bell spire is to be erected at the cathedral.

Proscenium is proud to work with Christ Church Cathedral on this exciting project.

Read the article in the Vancouver Sun:  Vancouver’s Christ Church Cathedral finds its voice


Aston Martin Vancouver prepares to open its doors…

The new Aston Martin showroom at Burrard and West 2nd Ave., received occupancy and substantial completion permits June 4th.  Just a few more finishing touches to take care of (such as driving some inventory onto the showroom floor) and the dealership will be ready to open for business.

Aston Martin

MEC North Vancouver wins Canadian Green Building Award!

Proscenium is pleased to announce that the MEC North Vancouver store has won a Canadian Green Building Award!  The project is featured in this summer’s edition of SAB Magazine.

MEC’s innovative retail space at 212 Brooksbank Ave. in North Vancouver raises the bar for sustainable building practices for retail stores.  The store is is targeting LEED® gold designation focusing on energy efficiency, water consumption, materials, landscaping and public access.

Congratulations to MEC and all the consultant teams who saw this project through to completion!

Read the article: SAB Magazine: MEC North Vancouver StoreMEC-NV-001

Video Tour – Private Residence, Vancouver


Take a video tour of the interior renovation of this Shaughnessy home.   Proscenium created an open-concept design suitable for casual living and entertainment while maximizing storage space.

What office doesn’t need a waffle maker?


What office doesn’t need a waffle maker?
We’re not sure because Proscenium certainly does.
As Waffle Wednesdays have debuted at Proscenium, here is a great recipe to get you started:

  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cup whole milk or buttermilk (or a combination)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Butter and pure maple syrup, for serving
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; mix well. Add the milk, vegetable oil, egg, sugar and vanilla and mix well. Let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a waffle iron. Follow the directions on your waffle iron to cook the waffles. Serve immediately with butter and pure maple syrup or hold in a 200 degree oven, directly on the rack (don’t stack them or they’ll get soggy). These also reheat very well in the toaster.

The Great One : Proscenium’s Matthew Kurnicki



Where were you born? Warsaw, Poland

Where did you go to school? Why? Universite de Montreal, because it was in French & I could not  speak English at the time

What’s your most prized article of black clothing? Shoes

What was your most recent splurge? I paid for my son’s bathroom renovation.

Who do you have an architectural/interior design crush on? Corbusier

What is the best building of all time? Pantheon

What are some of your favourite micro-breweries/food-trucks in Vancouver? None

What do you never leave home without? Kissing my wife

Your Great Escape would be to? Italy 

What are you doing for fun when you’re not at Proscenium?  Go to classical music concerts after having latte with friends.

Getting to know Proscenium’s employees!

IMG_0973 (3) AWARDS

Name?  – Ivan Kuptsov
Where were you born?  – Moscow, Russia
Where did you go to school? Why? – Moscow (Moscow Institute of Architecture) and Vancouver (School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture UBC). Moscow Institute of Architecture because it is the best architecture school available in the country. School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture UBC because I wanted to come to Vancouver, specifically because it is a young and a fast developing vibrant city, unlike many European cities.
What’s your most prized article of black clothing?  – glossy black crocodile leather shoes
If you could only play three albums in the studio, what would they be?
–  Front 242 – Pulse, Einsturzende Neubauten – Perpetuum Mobile, Antimatter – Leaving Eden
Who do you have an architectural/interior design crush on?  –  Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa
What is the best building of all time? – Melnikov House by Konstantin Melnikov
What are some of your favourite micro-breweries/food-trucks in Vancouver?  –  Fliptop, Brassneck, Howe Sound.
What do you never leave home without?  –  Music
What are you doing for fun when you’re not at Proscenium?  –  photography, sound synthesis and a bit of schmoozing

Guest Blogger: Jeff Bohnen, MEC

We are so excited to have Jeff Bohnen, Office Services Manager at MEC back as a guest blogger.  Please read on for some insight into the process of bringing the new MEC head office to life.

guest blog image

After years of continued expansion, MEC has simply outgrown our existing Head Office space. Creative solutions to increase our capacity – increasing density by removing separation panels to create open, shared cubicles; adding new workstations at the expense of circulation and storage space; leasing space in other buildings – have allowed us to survive, but hardly. These band-aid solutions are barely keeping us afloat, and we are beyond desperate ready for a larger facility.

Thankfully, we’re constructing what will be an epic new Head Office on Great Northern Way. If you’ve been following Proscenium’s blog, you’ll have seen some of the progress as the building takes shape during the course of construction. But the structure that you see in the pictures is only part of the story. Of course the exterior is extremely important. For me, however, the bread and butter of this project is in the interior space that I’ll be inheriting as Office Manager.

How will the systems furniture provide us with the tools we need to be productive at our desks?

  • Will systems furniture be scalable and easily managed from a replenishment perspective?
  • What kind of formal and informal meeting spaces do we need? How will they be used?
  • Which departmental adjacencies are most important? Not as crucial?
  • What workstation layout will best support each person’s working style?
  • How important is privacy vs. openness?
  • What challenges will we have incorporating work groups not currently situated at Head Office?
  • Can we accommodate future employee growth?
  • Do we need the same kinds of storage space as now? Can we reduce our hoarding tendencies?
  • In what ways will the space support our culture?
  • How will we incorporate the fun factor into amenities and common areas?
  • And, most importantly, where the heck will my desk be?

During our discovery process, we assessed our existing office space, determined what some of our limitations are, and defined what is most important on an individual and departmental basis. We needed to contrast what we have today with what we want to achieve in our new space. And one of the most powerful takeaways for me during this discovery phase was the realization that we are a great company constrained by what has become inadequate office space.

So just how does MEC become a great company whose office space supports and enhances our vision and culture?

It all starts with the right choice of partner. Our track record with Proscenium made this decision a no-brainer. Just as they have done in several of our other recent construction and renovation projects, Proscenium have played a key role in this epic project. Marrying their building design with their interiors expertise makes total sense.

Enter the design team of Kerri Shinkewski and Alissa Foss. These ladies know their stuff! They ask the right questions to start the conversations we need to have. They bring us choices that help us determine the best fit for our requirements. They offer contrasting opinions when we get carried away. And they guide us with insight and direction, while leaving the final decision up to us. Needless to say, Kerri and Alissa support our choices, but aren’t afraid to offer gentle discouragement when needed.

It also means doing things differently. Under the leadership of our project sponsor, and with the support of Proscenium, our project team recognized early that we need to provide tools that will actively support our culture(s) and styles of work. For instance, we know that simply transporting our existing furniture – which can be called utilitarian, at best – to the new building just won’t do. Offering the same types of collaboration spaces isn’t good enough. Simply replicating the same work habits we have now will prevent us from improving. Providing a form without giving adequate attention to function will sabotage this project.

We know that failure to adequately address these things will lead to some serious lunchbox letdown. When you’re looking for a peanut butter and jam sandwich, you won’t be satisfied if you find spam. If we go to a new building, we won’t make it work by doing, and having, the same as now.

So, in tandem with Proscenium, we’re working to make the perfect PB&J sandwich: a building reflective of our dynamic, collaborative, and fun organization. Kerri and Alissa guide us through the list of questions, helping us find the answers to each. While it might sound easy, it’s truly exhaustive. We have several departments and 300+ staff involved. We have a Champions team that includes representatives from each department. We’ve solicited opinions from employees. We’ve consulted department heads. We’ve questioned people on how we currently do things, and have made suggestions on how things will need to change. We’ve redrawn department layouts over and over. And we’ve shot down a lot of ideas in order to keep our priorities clear.

This project is what consumes me at work right now. And it’s just going to get more and more intense as we approach moving day. With Kerri and Alissa helping guide the process, I know we’ll end up with the PB&J sandwich that we’re all looking for.

And I, for one, can’t wait to take the first bite!


About the author: Before MEC, Jeff Bohnen worked at Whistler Blackcomb, Intrawest and Cirque du Soleil. He credits his time as VIP Manager at Cirque for providing him with the tools it takes to be ringmaster, or Office Services Manager, at MEC’s Head Office in Vancouver.

Shovels in the Ground at Langara

Ground has been broken on the new Langara College Sciences and Student Services Building, the ground breaking ceremony being held this past Thursday, December 5th.  Work continues to finalize construction documents with an anticipated construction start date in early 2014.

2013-09-11 NorthWest Pers w Lights blog


Office Field Trip

It was a rainy Friday when the office trekked out to see our latest completed project; 17,000 square feet of office space for Austeville Properties in Vancouver.  As the Final touches were being completed we had the opportunity to tour the space, appreciate the workmanship and a job well done.






Office Food Scraps and Recycling Programs

Get some great ideas on food scraps and recycling programs for the office from this article in Business Vancouver featuring expert advice from Jeff Bohnen, Office Manager at MEC.



MEC Reaching New Heights

The MEC Head Office is taking shape on Great Northern Way!  The 4th floor structure is almost complete on the south wing of the building and the roof structure will be complete by mid-November.  Ventana Construction is busy getting the tarps up before the November rains set in, making the building look like a huge sailing-ship that has come in off of False Creek.

I was able to attend the Wood Solutions Fair this week and was surprised to see the number of mass-timber buildings being built all around the world.  The MEC Head Office will be in good company.

MEC 2 001MEC2 002

MEC 2 003MEC 2 004



Proscenium had the good fortune to work once again with Chard Development on their new residential project in Victoria.  Now under construction, the Duet is 90 condos nestled in the prime Victoria neighbourhood of James Bay.  You can read more about our design process with Chard Development on the Duet Blog.


Spring Closet Clean Out

Earlier in the year, Proscenium invited local Designers to do a spring clean out of their closets and participate in a charity endeavour to benefit the WISH Drop-in Centre. We had an astounding response and 3 fully space planned car loads were taken down and delivered. 2013 was our 3rd year of the Spring Closet Clean Out Event, we hope to have many more.  Keep an eye out for the Winter Collection email coming soon!


The following items are always needed at the WISH Drop-In Centre:

Underwear, socks, tights and pantyhose – Makeup and toiletries (new and used, or partially used) – Toothbrushes, toothpaste and mouthwash – Season-appropriate clothing – Coats, hats and gloves – Shoes and boots – Bedding and towels – Handbags, purses and shopping bags

We also WISH for:

Books and Magazines – Arts and crafts supplies – First Aid supplies – Bus tickets for participants – Funding for a participant phone line – Long distance cards for women to call home


MEC Head Office Under Construction

Having worked with MEC on the design for the new head office since 2010 it is exciting for all of us to see it start to take shape. We are now into month 5 of construction and to quote Greg Piccini, the MEC Head Office is “rising like a lotus flower from the swamp.”





Fun Fridays

The unprecedented good weather Vancouver has been enjoying this summer has sparked the imagination of the folks here at Proscenium and has resulted in Fun Fridays. Nearly every Friday this summer saw some kind of treat or fun activity. There was the Crawfish lunch complete with bibs, the Lucky’s donuts that just appeared one morning (Thanks Ben P!) and the blender drinks topped with little umbrellas. Our favourite was the Mango Mint Madness. The recipe can be found below.

fun friday

Mango Mint Madness
1 bag of frozen Mangos
2 cups Mango Juice
1 bunch of Mint
Juice of two Limes
1 can of Grapefruit Palm Bay
Ice to fill blender.

Blend Up and Enjoy!

Makes a little for everyone, or a lot for just one.

MEC North Vancouver Store Receives Award

MEC NV 001

In March of the MEC North Vancouver store received a North Vancouver Urban Design Award. The key criteria under consideration for the award included the project’s response to its context at several scales: immediate, regional and global. At the local scale it was concerned with the work’s contribution and sensitivity to its immediate surroundings and the public realm. Regionally, the focus was on MEC North Vancouver’s capacity to enhance pedestrian and cycling infrastructure; as well as the sustainable integration of landscape, response to climate and selection of materials. Finally, universal questions of accessibility and safety evaluated MEC’s concern for the global community.

The new Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) store in North Vancouver has become a hub for local outdoor enthusiasts and a showcase for sustainable development, transforming this previously impermeable site into a node of vibrant commercial and recreational activity. The 22,000-square-foot retail store offers a wide selection of outdoor recreation clothing and gear including bicycles, snowsports and watersports gear, equipment rentals and a bicycle service shop, as well as a designated community meeting room. Besides its retail function, the facilities promote outdoor recreation and sustainable strategies. The new store enhances public access to parks and trails through the seamless integration between the development and park space.