s pa c e
e xch a ng e OREGON
VA N CO U V ER
What does it mean to have a brand new building in the context of the adaptive nature of the island? In 1972 Granville Island was repurposed from an industrial center to “an urban park for the people of Vancouver.” The character of the island today is a cross-section of an organic, bottom-up series of incremental adaptations that have built the island into a marketplace and destination for locallyproduced art, crafts and food. This project explores what it means to adapt urban space across different scales, from a room over the course of a day to citywide changes over decades. The purpose is to support nightlife on Granville Island for the people of Vancouver as streets, blocks, public spaces, buildings and rooms experience a continuous evolution of use. The architecture should respond and adapt to the variety of users on Granville Island—especially from day to night—and without the high operational costs of reconfiguring overly generic spaces.
p e r f o r m a tiv e i n t e n t This project performs the role of creating a focal point for Railspur Alley, conceptually connecting the central spine of the island between two active performing arts hubs. It also serves as a mixing point for those exploring the culinary and artisan markets of the island and those intent on consuming art. The project magnifies and amplifies the process of art making by putting process on display through the boat fabrication schoolâ€”an idea further emphasized by the connection of a gallery space, where the school could serve as a living exhibit. The site establishes a waystation for the island, creating a moment of pause and repose with outdoor plaza space under the Granville Bridge, and suggesting new connections and directions for people moving through the island. The building works with the plaza to create a distinctive visual and physical connection, making possible borrowed views and spaces for shared program activities.
How can spaces serve multiple uses and users over different scales of time? How can architecture support an exchange of space without becoming overly generic? A contextually driven mixed-use program of a boat fabrication school, restaurant, and gallery space serves as a vehicle for exploring the promiscuity of space, while providing functions aimed at creating nightlife on the island. Investigating space adaptability necessarily confronts not only the industrial aesthetic of the island, but the principles of industrialism tacitly embodied: efficiency, mass production, standardization, linearity and rationality â€“ principles that may no longer apply to the majority of activities. Fifty years ago, Granville Island was a completely different place. What will it be in another fifty years? The building and surrounding urban space emerge from the fabric of Granville Island: an urban park on an island with a nautical, industrial heritage and culture built around local artisan production. Building users, visitors and passers-by will experience an outdoor public space that extends into the building through a highly porous ground floor, a flexible gallery that intersects with a restaurant, and a roof terrace that reconnects the inside of the building with the surroundings, but at the scale of the bridge and skyline.
Design Intentions 1. Activate and Enhance night life on the island 2. create an architecture that is adaptable and responsive in 4 dimensions 3. contribute to the islandâ€™s infrastructure, supporting existing arts and nautical activities and partnering with light-industrial fabricators, boat rentals and sales, and the hotel, among others 4. connect to railspur alley, completing a pedestrian thoroughfare at the heart of the island with the distinctive â€œunder the bridgeâ€? location
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Flo o r pl a n s a n d S c en a r i os The first and second levels are transformable spaces, allowing easy reconfiguration for different uses.
Glulam arches at 3.6m o.c. define the interior space of the second and third levels. Beams are 914mm (36â€?) deep in the center, tapering to 760mm (30â€?).
gr anville i s l a n d bollard catalogue
One function of the bollards is to shape and define the plaza space for different uses depending on time of day or week, or for particular activities. If desired, one or both roads leading to the plaza can be closed to vehicle traffic, creating a pedestrian haven at the end of the Railspur District.
d ay t i m e The building works with the plaza to create a dynamic space capable of supporting activities ranging from boatbuilding classes that spill into the plaza to street performers and people watching.
nighttime At night the building activities invite passers-by into the plaza, whether it be the second-level restaurant or patio, the corner cafe, or evening workshops at the school.
A d a m O s wa l d
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