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Now open: The Foot of Lonsdale’s Megabench

It’s here! The Megabench at the Foot of Lonsdale is complete and now open to the public. Thank you to City of North Vancouver staff and all visitors that braved the rain to visit our opening this morning in the North shore.

Mayor Darrell Mussatto and Councillor Linda Buchanan were there for the occasion, as were our clients from the City, Heather Reinhold and Monty Hurd. Below is Hapa’s own Doug, with the Mayor and Councillor Buchanan trying the bench out.

For more updates, visit the City of North Vancouver’s page here.

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(City of North Vancouver: Monty Hurd, Councillor Linda Buchanan, Mayor Darrell Mussatto, Barbara Pearce, and Heather Reinhold.)

(City of North Vancouver: Monty Hurd, Councillor Linda Buchanan, Mayor Darrell Mussatto, Barbara Pearce, and Heather Reinhold.)

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Hapa Does Vancouver Rooftop Garden Tours

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Last week, some of the Hapa team had the opportunity to enjoy an exclusive Vancouver Rooftop Garden tour by bicycle, spanning from False Creek and Coal Harbour to the Downtown Eastside. Our tour stops comprised of: The Central; Vancouver Convention Centre West Roof Habitat, Lore Krill Housing Co-op, and 626 Alexander.

Our first stop was only a 5 minute ride away to meet with Jennifer, a resident of The Central (Connect Landscape Architecture, 2014). The Central is a 19-storey mixed use designed by Bruce Haden (of DIALOG, formerly HBBH) with a Skybridge joining commercial and residential components.
Although it is a new addition to the neighbourhood, it has quickly become a distinguished neighbour of the Telus World of Science, which shares the same street. The Central boasts a wellness centre spanning 7,000 square feet, which includes a fitness centre, yoga studio, theatre and the rooftop terrace. The terrace is home to a small playground and currently 32 garden beds. Residents can rent out an adjacent kitchen/event room that looks out onto the burgeoning, surrounding works-in-progress of False Creek.

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Merely a 13 minute pedal from The Central is the Waterfront icon, Vancouver Convention Centre West (PWL Partnership Landscape Architects, 2009). Home of the largest living roof in Canada, the award-winning centre is certified LEED Platinum, which translates to annually recycling 180,000 kg of materials in beautiful form, among many other things.

The building Engineer, Paul, was happy to share with us that among the 400,000 indigenous plants & grasses living on the six-acre roof habitat, there are also over 60,000 bees that help provide honey for the centre’s “scratch” kitchen. The kitchen itself promotes the use of fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. Therefore no chemical fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides are used on the roof and 30% less energy is required to cool the building in the summertime.

If one is lucky to find themselves on this roof habitat, it is easy to lose track of where it begins and ends, or to imagine you are Julie Andrews frolicking north of the Alps.

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When asked what maintenance work looks like, Paul mentioned it takes a crew of 6 landscapers over the period of one week to properly manicure the roof. Approximately 11,000 pounds of grass and plants are cut annually, some of which are used as compost back onto the roof.
However the one exception may have been in November 2015, when the centre, in partnership with WeedBusters, raised money for Movember Foundation, and sculpted a 182 feet wide by 45 feet tall moustache on the roof.

After a glance of the underwater marine habitat and the Seawheeze Half Marathon festivities along the seawall, we mobilized towards the Northeast for our last official stop, the Lore Krill Housing Co-op (Henriquez Partners Architects, 2002), led by resident, Andrew. As with any co-operative housing model, Lore Krill requires prospective members to undergo an extensive application process, if any of the 106 units happen to be available. With studio to 5-bedroom options, the fruits of members’ labour became evident to us, upon being greeted by the water feature in the shared courtyard, and visiting 1 of 5 of the lush, landscaped rooftop terraces. We had a prime view of the iconic Woodwards ‘W’ and were certain that the garden plots contained enough ingredients for a few days’ worth of lunch salads.

A unique aspect of Lore Krill is not only its stunning interlocking structures connected with bridges, but the fact that more than 50% of the building is universally accessible (most buildings are only 10% accessible). The Co-op’s brick facade is a quintessential Gastown choice, complimenting HPA’s other project, the Woodward’s Redevelopment. The Co-op was named after a late active DTES resident who founded the Main and Hastings Housing Society, Four Corners Community Savings Bank, and Bruce Eriksen Place.

Inform Vancouver

Our bonus stop was Inform Vancouver on 50 Water Street, by Niels Bendtsen and Omer Arbel. We were glad to discover more happy bees, photographic opportunities, and views of Blood Alley and Gastown.

Our Rooftop Garden Tour concluded at the newest project on the roster, 626 Alexander designed by Gair Williamson with landscaping by Hapa Collaborative. 626 consists of a shared courtyard complete with a harvest table and communal barbeque area. A variety of climbing vines help screen the courtyard from the adjacent building. Custom aluminum planters divide the rooftop patios while the tall screening plantings offering shade.

The tour was a refreshing reminder for landscape designers to not only provide a great view from a gym or studio, but to highly consider incorporating shade and accessibility for rooftop terraces or shared outdoor spaces. Indoor amenities were less of a focus and urban agriculture was popular among all of our stops.

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Many thanks to fellow Hapsters Shelley, Vivianne and our Social Committee for organising our tour. A special thanks to our guides (Jennifer, Paul and Andrew) for their time in sharing these beautiful green spaces with us. It is one thing to know of the biodiversity in Vancouver but another to understand and experience it. While these stops were only a few examples in the city, it is certainly valuable to have residential and commercial spaces rooted in community history, cultivating a future for urban agriculture in the city. Visit our Instagram feed for more images and updates: @hapacobo.

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Jim Deva Plaza Speaker’s Corner – Opening Thursday July 28th

Tomorrow night, downtown Vancouver’s newest plaza opens to the public with live performances, entertainment, and a ribbon cutting with the Mayor.

Hapa designed and coordinated the fabrication of a commemorative speakers’ corner ‘soapbox’ feature for Jim Deva Plaza (plaza design by PFS Studio).
The public art/commemorative sculpture pays tribute to the plaza’s namesake Jim Deva, who was a beloved community member and champion of free speech rights and equality in the LGBTQ2+ Community in Vancouver. Inspired by the formal geometries of megaphones, grammaphones, and flowers alike, the piece is painted in pink and turquoise – the two colours from the original rainbow flag design that did not make it into mass production.

The plaza also celebrates Jim Deva’s role as advocate for parks and open space in Vancouver, making the street closure by the famous rainbow crosswalks a fitting dedication.

Join us tomorrow night at Jim Deva Plaza from 4-8:30pm for a lively night of celebration to kick off Vancouver Pride Week!

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Ponderosa Commons Tour

Hapa was one of the tour leaders for the Society for College and University Planning’s Annual Conference, held in Vancouver this week. The tour sessions featured our work at Ponderosa Commons, the first of several mixed-use student housing hubs at the University of British Columbia. Approximately 75 conference attendees toured the complex, including the Fine Arts and Education faculties, student housing and collegium spaces, and ending with our al fresco presentation in the recently completed outdoor classroom.

Congratulations to UBC and our collaborators at HCMA, KPMB, Ledcor and Urban One: we received lots of really positive comments from the conference tour!

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Lonsdale Bench

The undulating bench at the Foot of Lonsdale Plaza is starting to take shape. Some photos from Doug & Sarah’s site visit this morning in the downpour:
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Vancouver Sign Shop

Earlier this week, Nathan and I visited the Vancouver sign shop to see where all the street signs, police car decals, and other urban signage gets made in Vancouver.

We were expecting a messy engineering-type space, but were surprised that it more resembled an immaculately kept print making shop – further to our surprise – because they hand screen print tons of their signs. Here are some photos to enlighten the sign making process!

An excellent installation on National Ave. that all designers should go and visit.

An excellent installation on National Ave. that all designers should go and visit.

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A screen printing template with our most helpful tour guide, Don

A screen printing template with our most helpful tour guide, Don

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Rolls of reflective vinyl

Rolls of reflective vinyl

but they look so small from far away!

but they look so small from far away!

hand screen printed temporary no stopping signs drying on racks

hand screen printed temporary no stopping signs drying on racks

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vinyl stickers ready for application on streets

vinyl stickers ready for application on streets

the sticker vinyl cutter

the sticker vinyl cutter

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Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza Public Open House this Thursday

Dearest friends and supporters,

We invite you to join us, along with the City of Vancouver, and our consultant team including Nick Milkovich Architects and Matthew Soules Architecture for a public open house for the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza.

Where:  UBC Robson Square (800 Robson Street)

When: 5pm to 8pm, Thursday, November 26

You can view the open house boards here on the City of Vancouver website, and find more detailed images and renderings of the space here on our own website.

As someone interested in the urban design of Vancouver, we truly hope you find the time to help us shape a vibrant and active downtown space for the future.

Sincerely,

Hapa Collaborative

Out in Front: Landscape Leading Exhibition

 

Last Thursday, Hapsters Shelley and Jack represented Hapa at the University of Washington Landscape Architecture school’s exhibition Out in Front: Landscape Leading.

The exhibition features projects and practitioners from the Pacific Northwest region: a place that we are proud to be stewards of.

The exhibition will be on until November 19th (with whispers of it travelling to visit other schools in Vancouver and Oregon – stay tuned for more details in the upcoming year!). If you have the time to plan a trip, or are visiting Seattle this week, let us know what you think!

Additional photos from the exhibition here.

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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.