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North Shore Revival

Inspired by the legacy of the Wallace Shipyards, The Shipyards integrates old with new to celebrate the significant history of the site in a way that enables year-round activation.

North Vancouver, BC

A Place For All Seasons

This adaptive-reuse, mixed-use project is a “people place” in Vancouver’s harbour. Designed to cater to a range of age groups the design incorporates a variety of land uses and tenants who have been hand-picked to stimulate entertaining programming. At the centre of The Shipyards is a major covered outdoor gathering space that provides year-round amenity, attraction and delight. These amenities include a winter skating rink to capitalize on British Columbia’s winters, and a summer water play area/plaza that will be animated by markets, exhibitions, performances and festivals. A boutique hotel is included on upper floor as a means to host the rising number of visitors to Vancouver’s North Shore – a booming community.

War Hero

As a National Site of Significance, The Shipyards is a precinct that has a rich social, economic and physical history. It was originally developed by the Burrard Dry Dock Company and then utilized by The Wallace Shipyard Company at the turn of the 20th centaury. This large, former industrial site was built to support the expanding wartime production through a complex of buildings along the waterfront, and is valued as a central role in defining the population growth and expansion of the North Shore. Shipbuilding booms during both the First and Second World Wars resulted in The Wallace Shipyard Company becoming the largest employer of shipyard labour in British Columbia. It built 109 “Victory” ships – more than any other yard in Canada.

Reuse and Repair

The design of The Shipyards takes many cues from its shipbuilding history. Buildings and landscapes are oriented along lines perpendicular to the Burrard Inlet shoreline, just as the buildings and internal roads of the shipyards were at inception. Conceptually this project prioritizes the heritage character of the original Machine Shop building. Using the original steel components and geometry as a starting point the reconstructed Machine Shop has been modified to suit its new functions. The retractable roof, for example, takes on the character of structures familiar within the vernacular of the shipyards area. The additional new structures on the site such as hotels and restaurants adopt a contemporary form and act as a foil to the heritage machine shop.

Lonsdale Connectivity

The Shipyards plan is integrated into the existing circulation including The Sea bus, Lonsdale Quay Market and Hotel, the Polygon Gallery and substantial residential development and along the waterfront and northwards into the City. The primary open space has strong visual and physical connections to and from the Spirit Trail, which traverses along the south edge of the site as a combined pedestrian and bike route. A north-south spine leads from Esplanade, via a pedestrian bridge over Victory Ship Way, through the site between the rebuilt machine shop and the east wing of the hotel, and down to meet the Spirit Trail on axis with the historic existing pier. Secondary axes provide ample routes for pedestrians—north-south along Wallace Mews on each side of Lot 5, and east-west through the middle of the site.

Project facts

Size: 67,000 sq m
Collaborators: Hapa Collaborative
Client: Quayside Property Management
Completion date: Fall 2018