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750 SW Marine Drive in for DP

We are looking forward to starting this new mixed-use project in the rapidly developing South Marpole area of Vancouver. Proscenium is providing full architectural services for 750 SW Marine Drive, an eight-storey office/industrial building for Chard Development awaiting its Development Permit.

This is a much-needed building typology in Vancouver and we have used our recent experience to optimally combine office and industrial use in the program, while targeting a high level of sustainability.


  • Grade and the top floor are public-realm and user-oriented, with ample common spaces and landscaping. The ground level is set back from the street, with outdoor seating, retail space and on-site rainwater management
  • Floors 1-2 are Industrial Manufacturing, with direct freight elevator access. The second floor provides light industrial space with an office-like feel.⁠
  • Floors 3-7 are Office space with Floor 7 providing roof decks for units. ⁠
  • Floor 8 has a shared rooftop amenity space and expansive patio deck with views in all directions.⁠


The building is designed with a high level of sustainability to achieve LEED Gold standard.

  • The 40ft public plaza setback along SW Marine Drive is 75% permeable, which helps the site to control storm waters as well as collect and reuse some water for the building’s irrigation system.
  • Energy use reduction was considered at every stage of the design.
  • For the building envelope, simple form massing reduces thermal bridging at transitions, and incorporating solid walls and punched windows reduces the window-to-wall ratio, increasing energy efficiency.
  • The core and washrooms are positioned along the east wall to maximize daylighting into the floor space and reduce the need for artificial lighting.
  • The proposed primary mechanical system is heat recovery air source heat pumps. The system will recover heat from cooling areas of the building and provide it to the rooms that require heating, reducing GHG emissions.
  • A shared rooftop terrace and common boardroom provide workplace amenities while reducing operating costs for business owners, eliminating the need for individual private meeting spaces.

This is a great project that will create jobs and much-needed light industrial workspace close to rapid transit (2 blocks from Marine Drive Skytrain) in the South Marpole area. We look forward to sharing more about the project in the coming months!


See related industrial/office work by Proscenium:

The Yukon

34 West 7th

UBC MacLeod: Inside the Envelope

Clothing a building has become infinitely more complex due to new building codes. Building envelope technology, which once may have been akin to throwing on jeans and a t-shirt, is now the equivalent of designing a custom Gore-Tex parka, with a sweat-wicking base layer for good measure.

As expectations for buildings’ environmental performance increase to meet new sustainability goals by clients and municipalities, navigating envelope requirements calls for new expertise and staying on top of an expanding list of considerations—from energy modelling and specialized envelope knowledge to fabrication and construction sequencing. All of this takes a closely coordinated team of specialists on any given project.


Proscenium has worked with great teams on sustainably-focused buildings over the years with unique envelope solutions—both for mass timber and concrete. Our solutions are driven by a proactive approach to addressing energy conservation in every element. For the soon-to-be-completed UBC MacLeod Renewal project (with Teeple Architects), we led a complete renewal of the building envelope, as well as a complete gutting and reprogramming to bring the home of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty up to code and up to date.


On UBC MacLeod (targeting LEED Gold), we used energy modelling to develop performance targets for the envelope design, comprised of continuous exterior insulation behind precast concrete panels acting as a cladding in a rainscreen assembly. This method significantly reduces thermal bridging and provides an enhanced level of occupant comfort in tandem with an advanced mechanical system.

Energy modelling was based on predicted 50-year climate data to make sure that the building’s energy use would remain within acceptable parameters in the future, limiting the need to modify building systems in response to extreme weather events or rising temperatures.


The pre-cast concrete panels are a cornerstone of the new design, and a contemporary approach to the original modernist building designed by Thompson, Berwick & Pratt (1964). Proscenium worked closely with UBC’s Campus and Community Planning Department to preserve the architectural integrity of the building, maintain the bold expression of the modernist structural grid, and choose materials that convey a similar strength and stature as the original cladding.

UBC MacLeod nearing completion, May 2022

The new envelope not only meets stringent energy performance requirements, but consciously and respectfully preserves the principles of the original façade while reflecting new possibilities of working with concrete.

We are excited to say that UBC MacLeod will achieve occupancy this summer to be ready for classes in September.


Proscenium’s expertise with high performance building envelopes has been recognized on other recent projects:

MEC Vancouver Store (commercial/office)

Elenore on Fifth (boutique multifamily residential)

Langara Science & Technology Building (institutional)



Two Projects Recognized in Recent Awards

We are proud to share that two buildings we worked on for Chard Development won developer awards in the last month!

  1. The Urban Design Institute (UDI) Awards 2022 recognized The Royals for best Purpose Built Market High Rise.
  2. UDI recognized Vivid at the Yates for best Non-Market Housing.
  3. The Georgie Awards also recognized Chard for Vivid at the Yates with the Provincial Award for Excellence in Housing Affordability

We are lucky to work with some great commercial clients like Chard and to have provided interior design services for both these projects.


T3 Mount Pleasant receives support from Design Panel

Last week, we received support from the Design Panel for T3 Mount Pleasant, a new 12-storey mass-timber office project designed by DLR Group for which Proscenium is Associate Architect. The project (developed by Houston-based Hines and local developer PC Urban) joins other T3 buildings around the world named for their use of mass timber, technology and close proximity to transit.

Renders by Steelblue


We are excited to see this project moving forward, having already received support from the heritage commission. The project site on 6th Ave in Mount Pleasant is currently occupied by a heritage building, the SFU Elementary Annex (1929). Proscenium’s involvement has been focused on the relocation and revitalization of the heritage building to reintroduce it to the institutional and cultural life of the city.

SFU Annex, 1930

This proposal lifts the heritage building onto a reconstructed, at-grade ground floor anchoring the northeast corner of the site and fronting onto a lane activated by murals by local artists. Its new location against the arts walk concentrates cultural programming and allows the Annex to maintain a presence on 6th, filtering pedestrian access through a new entry plaza shared with the site’s new tenant, a mixed-use industrial office building.

The reconstruction at grade along with a new dedicated elevator will allow the plaza to provide equitable and accessible circulation throughout the Annex. It also allows users to appreciate the high degree of retained character-defining elements on the project such as wood sash windows and half-timber detailing. The Annex’ new colour palette is based on the historical colour scheme with the intent to take the annex colour back to its original contrasting light stucco with dark wood tracery and light window treatment.

Proscenium has a long history working with heritage buildings, due to our founders’ passion for arts and cultural buildings. We have worked on many of Vancouver’s cultural treasures, including the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver East Cultural Centre (“the Cultch”), the Stanley Theatre, the Massey Theatre and more.

We look forward to providing further updates about T3 Mount Pleasant!




PAI Insight: Incorporating Theatres into New Developments

Designing and renovating theatres has been a focus of Proscenium since 1996 when our firm started. In recent years, we have been approached by multiple clients who want to design theatres that are incorporated into new developments. Often this results in having a theatre on ground level (at grade) with a residential or mixed-use building attached.

When handled correctly we think this is a great idea because it makes theatres more feasible for developers who seek to maximize FSR in busy urban neighborhoods, while also creating dedicated community spaces for artists to make and show their work. The end result is a win-win situation for development the artistic community and the community at large.

But there are certain challenges with this arrangement with regards to acoustics, clear span structural spaces required for theatres, circulation, access and the geometry of the actual theatre space. Here are some ways we used our knowledge of theatre design to navigate these in a recent project.

Photos by Andrew Latreille


For the BMO Theatre Centre (2018), Proscenium was hired to do a complete fit-out of an existing base building that is part of a residential development in Olympic Village. The space originally meant for the Playhouse Theatre Company was redesigned for two of Vancouver’s popular theatre companies, Arts Club Theatre Company and Bard on the Beach. The program included a 250-seat theatre, rehearsal halls, costume shops and offices.

The design has been a success, in particular the infill of an existing double height space to facilitate a VIP balcony in the lobby and a perimeter catwalk for the theatre. The sleek, contemporary look and multi-dimensionality of the lobby has made it a prized event space, facilitating pre-show gatherings including space for live music and a wine bar.

Versatile 250-seat theatre


For the best acoustics, ideally a theatre is isolated architecturally from neighbouring uses and does not have anything above it. At the minimum, this means none of the base building elements cross over into the performance space and at the most effective, it is a stand-alone structure. The BMO achieved this by making the theatre the podium beside the tower, with the theatre offices acting as the podium beneath the tower.

The mechanical systems were another important consideration. At the BMO, we adjusted the design to move rainwater leders out of the theatre and increase mechanical units and duct sizes to slow the movement of air, thus decreasing the noise of air and water movement in the theatre space. A complete acoustic isolation of the theatre from any base building mechanical and plumbing systems was required.

The original Playhouse design did not allow for rehearsal rooms but they were needed by Bard and the Arts Club. This meant that under the base tower, the structural isolation for these future spaces was not originally considered. To acoustically separate the rehearsal rooms from the offices above, we created physical separation by building a secondary concrete slab between floors involving a series of slab-spring isolators to keep them apart. (We worked with Aercoustics on this design).

Slab-spring isolators going in


Theatres are unique buildings and require special treatment in many areas. Developers should know that if a sprung floor is required for a black-box theatre, it will require a depression in the concrete slab floor and developers should find out in advance.

The importance of back-of-house spaces are often overlooked, but it is essential to include practical rooms such as wardrobe storage space and shop space for theatre companies to use. At the BMO we included both.


After twenty-five years in theatre design, our firm is glad to be designing new performance spaces in areas of high density. We are also branching out to design the base building for developers. In 2022, we are already working on two new theatre projects incorporated into new developments, one of which has us involved in both aspects.

We look forward to sharing more about these projects!