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Edgy Metro Vancouver playgrounds attract kids from far and wide

Terra Nova is the place to be…for kids! Terra Nova steals the show again…check out the Vancovuer Sun Video!

Edgy Metro Vancouver playgrounds attract kids from far and wide

West Park Richmond

Nell and Joe have been overseeing the pouring of the slough wall at West Park in Richmond’s Tait neighbourhood, where No. 4 Road meets the north arm of the Fraser River.  The wall is a tracing of the original location of Slough, as mapped by Dr. Lionel Ham, see an excerpt of one of his maps below.  The wall is fabricated from three separate pours of coloured concrete to create a sedimentary  profile on the vertical face, and the wall alignment follows the outline of the slough’s direction, connecting the street to the river through the park.  The crew with Western Watershed have done a great job building tight radiused forms, placing very dry, low-slump concrete and finishing the edges crisply.  The result:  a few deeply honeycombed patches, but a nice crisp line between colours.  We expect the colour to fade over time.

Market Lane . . . Pumped Up!

Our colleague Art Lierman, landscape architect for the Market Lane project in London, was downtown for Nuit Blanche and happened upon Market Lane, fully amped up for the event, with the Fanshawe College roll-away frontage (left side of image) open onto the lane, we think for the first time ever.  The DJ was playing from the indoor/outdoor space, and had linked the light canopy to pulse with the beat of his tracks. Needless to say, lots of energy and a great vibe in the lane, exactly what we were hoping for from the beginning.  We’re hopeful that we see more programming and events at Market Lane – by Fanshawe or the City – in the future!  Thanks Art for sending the photos!


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.


Professor James Hitchmough Lecture in Vancouver Feb 19th, 2015

Hapa is excited to sponsor a great evening of learning on Feb 19th, 2015, 7:30 to 9:30 at Vancouver Special located at 3612 Main Street.

“James Hitchmough’s research has explored how to design, construct and manage nature-like vegetation and, secondly, to identify what are the key elements that allow this vegetation to be seen as a positive by urban people. This research and that of other urban ecological researchers in the world is increasingly showing that the needs of people and the needs of the invertebrates and vertebrates that live in designed vegetation have much more in common than has traditionally been believed; win:win situations are really possible.

 James continues to road test his research through application to practice. In the UK he has recently implemented the first phase of a 15ha project with the Royal Horticultural Society known as the “Big Sky Meadows”, and is in the process of applying his ideas in many other countries.”

For ticket information visit

Whistler Neighbourhood Improvement Project = field trips to Whistler!

3DS, Hapa, and Dennis Boyle have been chosen to work on the Whistler Neighbourhood Improvements project. The objective to this project is to create memorable landmarks, amplifying and clarifying the pedestrian experience in Whistler for locals and tourists.  A series of sculptural gateposts are placed at entrances and thresholds throughout the village.

On Monday, the team took a field trip up to Whistler with actual sized mock ups and wheeled them around to test various locations.  The mock ups are cardboard and they look great, I’m excited to see the final product!  Keep an eye out for these landmarks coming soon to Whistler and let us know what you think!

The objects will be made out of ‘folded’ sheets of Corten and an interior translucent polycarbonate sign panel with an embedded graphic image to create a 3-d element that can be viewed at all angles.



Field Trip Friday – Free Spirit Nursery

Last Friday, the Hapa office drove down to Langley to visit Free Spirit Nursery for the first time. Dutch transplants Lambert and Marjanne gave us a tour of the nursery, their private gardens, and insight into their plant philosophies. Seeing all the diverse and well maintained perennials was an amazing way to spend the afternoon!


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