March 28, 2003
by Sarah Foster
A $32 million, 717,750 square foot fast-tracked project by Henriquez Partners Architects in the 20 block neighbourhood of Gastown in Vancouver is now under construction, having cleared multiple required approvals.
Gastown has fine examples of Victorian Italianate and Edwardian Commercial style buildings. When Henriquez Partners Architects was retained by the City in 2002 to design two new parkades in the area, the goal was to develop an architectural vocabulary which is modern yet sympathetic to, and drawing inspiration from, the heritage context of the area.
The projects encompass a theatre district and retail units at grade, located at Water Street’s parkade with three floors of offices above that. Principal stair towers designed to evoke the neighbourhood’s fire escapes will be hung from the faade while the parking will be screened by granite and traditional metal framework. A roof-top row of tulip trees and ivy covered walls will bring some natural elements into the largely concrete environment.