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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

The Shipyards is a public plaza in the centre of a vibrant mixed-use development on the North Shore. Catering to a range of age groups, the design incorporates a variety of land uses and tenants who have been hand-picked to invigorate the site. The large, outdoor gathering space is covered to provide year-round amenity including a winter skating rink and a summer water play area/plaza that will be animated by markets, exhibitions, performances, and festivals.

War Hero

As a National Site of Significance, The Shipyards is a precinct with 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 century. 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, producing 109 “Victory” ships – more than any other yard in Canada. The Shipyards site played a significant role during the shipbuilding boom and was a catalyst to settlement along the North Shore.

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. 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 takes on the character of structures familiar within the vernacular of The Shipyards area. The additional new structures on the site such as a hotel and restaurants adopt a contemporary form and act as a foil to the heritage machine shop.

Lonsdale Connectivity

Considered the last piece of the puzzle, The Shipyards completes the circulation along North Vancouver’s waterfront. The SeaBus, Lonsdale Quay Market, and the Polygon Gallery are now connected along a series of transit routes, plazas, and recreational spaces allowing local residents and patrons seamless access from all directions. A north-south spine from Esplanade, a major roadway neighbouring the site, welcomes you to a series of shops adjacent to the Commons, continuing to the waterfront where you’ll intersect with a combined pedestrian and bike route known as Spirit Trail. From here, you’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the spectacular view of Vancouver Harbour or continue exploring one of many routes available to pedestrians.

Project facts

Site Size: 67,000 sq m
Collaborators: Hapa Collaborative
Client: Quay Property Management
Completion: 2019