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The 40th Anniversary Powell Street Festival: Hapa sponsors Design Competition

Although Vancouver is considerably young compared to its other Canadian counterparts, our oldest Community-based festival, Powell Street Festival, celebrated its 40th Anniversary on the weekend of July 30th, 2016. It also happens to be Canada’s Largest Japanese Canadian Festival, and Hapa Collaborative is proud to be a Community Partner each year. Powell Street Festival Society’s (PSFS) mission is to cultivate Japanese Canadian arts and culture to connect communities.

This year, Hapa sponsored Bing Thom Architects’ & Abaton Projects PSFS Design Competition, which invited architecture students to design an interactive installation that considers civic engagement, cultural relevance, and environmental sustainability at the festival’s site in the Downtown Eastside’s Japantown. Festival goers and passersby grazing the north side of Oppenheimer Park would likely have seen a carp-shaped structure perched on the lawn. Coined by winning design students as “The Koinobori”, the temporary, rubberwood, interactive installation resembles a windsock. It was dressed with cloth “scales” that served as visual or written stories by members of the community.

In Japanese culture, the carp symbolizes strength and courage because of its ability to swim upstream and against the current of a waterfall. In a way, we felt that it fit well with the festival because it is all about bringing the Japanese community together, celebrating their culture and keeping that tradition strong. – Melody Giang, Winning Student Team Member

The winning team was awarded a $1,000 prize, a production budget and mentorship from Bing Thom Architects (BTA) and Abaton Projects. Other partners included Hapa, Haeblar Group, Heatherbrae Builders, AME Group, and RDH Building Science. Congratulations to German exchange students Kai Kattge & Sebastian Saure, along with BCIT’s Architectural Technology 3 class (Melody Giang, Emily Huser, Steven Schmidt).


PSFS 2016 Koinobori


Lane Swim (No Lifeguard on Duty) – a public art proposal for Winnipeg

  2016-03-30 Backlane Submission Hapa Collaborative-6Lane Swim (No Lifeguard on Duty) is Hapa’s submission for the 2016 Winnipeg Backlane Public Art Project Competition.

The proposal references how, for millennia, the fortunes of people settled in Winnipeg have risen and fallen with the waters of the Red and Assiniboine. The rivers brought sustenance, transportation, industry and amenity, and also devastating floods. Though the Red River Floodway currently keeps the City of Winnipeg dry, it may not always, as its climate, weather and hydrology will continue to change. Winnipeg, like all living cities, will have to adapt, just as it has in the face of continual social and cultural change. The installation is also a metaphor for life downtown: it highlights the challenges of urban existence, and the fact that some residents must rise above life’s “floods”.

Lane Swim (No Lifeguard On Duty) consists of seven lifeguard chair installations, placed strategically along the study site as wayfinding elements, beacons of light, gathering places and curiosities. They draw people to the laneway and encourage them to linger. Though the chairs and their lifesavers are at 1:1 scale, their stainless steel legs are stretched out of proportion, so that they stand sentry over an imagined future flood level, higher than any the city has seen to date; their legs are painted Red River gumbo-brown up to the level of that imagined flood. The chairs are uplit, and the lifesavers lit from within, so that the installations glow and provide lighting through the laneway after dark. Each chair has an image of the prairie sky as a backdrop, referencing the weather on the open prairie beyond the City’s edifices. Each chair installation has a wooden bench at its base to provide seating for two, for resting, visiting and observing people and laneway events.

2016-03-30 Backlane Submission Hapa Collaborative-72016-03-30 Backlane Submission Hapa Collaborative-8

2015 CSLA Awards Announced…and we won!!!

We are super thrilled to bring home 2 awards from the 2015 CSLA Awards.  Both Terra Nova and McBurney Lane won Regional Citation Awards!

Terra Nova Play Experience, completed with the City of Richmond, and McBurney Lane, with the City of Langley, received Regional Citation awards in the Design category of the annual awards program that recognizes excellence and innovation in landscape architecture.

These projects represent the opposite ends of the design spectrum, one being an adventure playground tucked into an existing regional nature park at the mouth of the Fraser River, and the other a small interstitial plaza in the centre of downtown Langley.  Despite the different contexts, each project was the result of a thorough and engaging public process, a strong collaborative effort between the client, consultant team, and the builders, and talented group of designers of past and present Hapsters including Sarah Siegel, Doug Shearer, Nell Gasiewicz, Shelley Long, Katherine Wimble and Erika Mashig.  We would like to also acknowledge Yvonne Stich and Kevin Connery, park planners at Richmond, and Francis Cheung and Kara Jefford at the City of Langley for their leadership and guidance.

Thank you again to everyone who was involved on both the projects, couldn’t have done it without you!

For more information about the winners click here.


SFU Rise Competition – “PILE-UP”


RISE is an open ideas competition addressing sea level rise in Metro Vancouver. It’s a way for anyone in our diverse community to develop innovative ideas that will help us to adapt and thrive – faster than the waters that surround us.

Working with Colin Kristiansen from KWL and Nick Page from Raincoast Applied Ecology, the Hapa team put together and submitted the “Pile-up” and made it to the Top 10!

“Pile-Up: A simple, geomorphic response to sea level rise. Our approach relies on natural processes, proven skills and a familiar palette. We propose to lay down simple, local materials where the land meets the sea. The result will be calmer waters, better habitat for plants and animals, and an enriched coastal experience for all who live and visit there.”

Learn more about our submission here!  #riseideas

Pile up

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