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MEC Vancouver wins CaGBC Award for New Construction

We are so pleased to receive the 2021 Canadian Green Building Award for New Construction for MEC Vancouver! Thank you to Canada Green Building Council for recognizing the project.

Hugh Cochlin will be giving a presentation on the building’s many green features along with Roland Charneux next week, September 28th at 9am PST.

 

CaGBC Awards Lunch ‘n’ Learn: New Construction

Tuesday, September 28th; 9-10 am Pacific, 12

Cost: FREE

Registration link

PAI Insight: Evolving Space Needs for Industrial/Office Buildings

Our projects like The Yukon (2021) and 750 SW Marine Drive (ongoing) have highlighted some recent changes in space needs of our clients. We’d like to share some insights on the mixed-use building typology of industrial/office buildings and how we’re navigating those changes.

MEC Head Office (2014)

Covid-19 Impacts on Workplace Design

The increasing capabilities of remote work and employee’s desire for flexible schedules are changing the way workplaces are envisioned, built and designed. Developers are asking for a greater variety of floor options for office buildings, including increased numbers of smaller units. One way we have responded is by designing leasing spaces that can be demised into smaller units (early planning here is crucial).

Inside the office, employers are rethinking layouts and even the need for personal desks for individual employees. At MEC’s newest Head Office (2021), we established unassigned “hotel-style” sit/stand workstations to facilitate this trend.

Industrial Space is Evolving

As a port city, Vancouver has a strong need for both industry and commercial/office use. Many neighbourhoods are populated with mixed-use buildings that do both. Traditional industrial space use has been evolving in recent years, including a desire for greater flexibility.

Second Floor “Buffer”

At Proscenium, we have been strategizing new ways to balance what we see as complementary typologies. At The Yukon and 750 SW Marine Drive, we established the second floor as a light industrial use level with direct freight elevator access. This level, which is often leased to medical labs or other lower intensity industrial uses, creates an effective buffer zone between the more traditional industrial use below and office space above. We have also recently been involved in a survey/brainstorming session with the City of Vancouver to explore other uses which can be stacked on top of industrial to create more flexibility while retaining the much-needed industrial zones.

The Yukon (2021)

Loading Considerations

Industrial units can come with unique and demanding requirements for loading—raw supplies from sheet steel to coffee beans arrive and leave as products with their own unique handling requirements. Designing with site circulation in mind from the outset is important. Proper loading access and a back of house circulation route are key to making sure the front of house first impressions are as well considered as the products being made.

750 SW Marine Drive (Ongoing)

MEC Vancouver wins the BC Wood Design Award 2020

On July 14th, WoodWORKS! BC announced MEC Vancouver is the winner of the BC Wood Design Awards (2020) for Commercial buildings! We are so glad to receive this award and thank you to our great project team for all their hard work on this inspiring, sustainable project.

IN THE NEWS:

Canadian Architect

Journal of Commerce

The building has also been spotlighted a Case Study publication put our by WoodWORKS! BC , which dives into the design and structural elements of the project.

Read the case study.

 

Skewed off the Grid: Elenore on Fifth

The design of Elenore on Fifth, a distinct mixed-use commercial and residential building completed in 2020, was driven by the site’s unique parameters and the identity of the vibrant lower Main Street neighbourhood.

STEPPING DOWN THE HILL

Located on 5th and Main, the site is about halfway down the hill between Broadway and 2nd Avenue. The area has a history of small, light industrial uses and residences for workers.

In keeping with the topography of Main St, Elenore on Fifth steps down the hill with volumes of six storeys. The stepped massing creates excellent opportunities for greened roof terraces with views over the city and the mountains–creating public and private gathering spaces to allow opportunities for community connections.

On the street below, the building maintains the strong pedestrian experience of Main Street, providing visual interest and canopies for protection from the elements.

SKEWED OFF THE GRID

The project is a great example of how a site’s limitations can lead to interesting design solutions. The site is a challenging one because the view from 5th and Main is protected by the City of Vancouver through View Cone #22, which cuts significantly through the site’s proposed rezoning. (Vancouver’s view cones are located around the City to protect views of the mountains from specific locations).

Our solution was to skew the residential levels from the grid at the angle of the view cone. This actually benefits the residential units, allowing the western and northern faces to capture views that would normally be unavailable.

Landscape Design by Gauthier and Associates (G|ALA)

Achieving this architectural goal was challenging but ultimately sets the building apart and gives it a dynamic presence in the neighbourhood.

See more photos.

 

PAI Feature: Cook Street Plaza

Cook Street Plaza is a comprehensive mixed-use development in the City of Victoria, currently under construction. The vision for the project was to supply a range of market and below-market housing options and locally supportive commercial space for a walkable, thriving urban area with excellent access to transportation options. The scale of the site allows a holistic approach to the public realm; landscaped mews forming through-block connections that would not be possible without the proposed property consolidation.

The development includes a six-storey building designed to address Victoria’s new Inclusionary Housing Policy (“Haven”), the remediation and renovation of an existing medical office building, a 12-storey mixed use building including daycare facility (“Nest”), and an extensive site plan that ties the uses together to make a destination of the spaces between.

A well-defined architectural expression complements height and massing that is site-appropriate. The massing of the buildings has been arranged to be respectful of neighbours by orienting density towards the downtown core and stepping down in density towards the more urban-residential realm to the east. Buildings have been arranged to minimize the impact of on-look from one to the other. The proposal consolidates the properties bound by Yates, Cook and Johnson into three parcels of land.

Read more about the individual Nest and Haven projects in the “In Progress” section of our website.