2011 HERITAGE AWARDS
The Salient Group
Acton Ostry Architects
Donald Luxton and Associates
An Outstanding Acheivement award has been givento a series of projects on one block of Vancouver’s Gastown. Submitted as three separate nominations, the awards jury recognized the merits of each but determined that it was the overall impact of the efforts by one team to revive five contiguous buildings that needed to be recognized and honoured.
The Terminus and Grand project presented special challenges. The Terminus Hotel was devastated by a fire in 2000 and only a three-storey brick facade of the original building survived. The adjacent Grand Hotel had been vacant for 35 years and the deterioration of the original timber structure was beyond rehabilitation. Together, the two buildings created a dead zone and an eye sore in the centre of one of the most important historic blocks in Vancouver.
Through retention and restoration of architectural elements where possible, and an innovative approach to new space, the Terminus and Grand are now linked to form an exciting piece of urban fabric behind two of the oldest facades that define historic Gastown.
The Cordage and Garage project also involved the restoration, rehabilitation and interconnection of two buildings in the same block.
Integration of six and seven-storey residential and two-storey commercial uses with existing street fronts and an existing courtyard mews dictated many aspects of the design. New upper storeys are set back from, or aligned with, existing robust masonry historic street fronts. New dwelling units and work spaces meet contemporary demands for flexibility while capturing optimum natural light from the limited existing windows. Sustainable design strategies included green roofs, efficient water use and geothermal energy systems. Building materials were salvaged, recycled and/or reincorporated into the project.
The Alhambra is one of Vancouver's oldest structures. A corner building that fronts Water and Carrall Streets, its distinctive Italianate architecture is one of the most notable features of historic Maple Tree Square. Conservation focused on restoring the architectural elements of the two facades to an exacting degree. The approach to the courtyard and S the interior was rehabilitation and new elements introduced, including an elevator and suspended bridge, were highly glazed and contemporary in appearance, to contrast with the original building.
Together, the five buildings involved in these three projects form an impressive ensemble of historic architecture, spanning the time from the great 1886 fire to the 1930’s, from the Victorian era to the modern exuberance of Art Deco. The investment of funds, effort and expertise, and the vision and courage to take on a series of daunting projects, has resulted in an enormous shot in the arm for the entire block and reaffirmation of the whole historic Gastown concept.