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8 Great Designs from Vancouver

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Beautiful Vancouver, aka Hollywood North, has its own brand of modern cool. Here are 8 designs Dwell loves from the city.
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  A Vancouver architect maxes out a commercial lot to create a multiunit prefab tower that takes smart urban planning as seriously as good design. Each of the residences has outdoor space attached to it; the family’s unit has a roof deck. In 
lieu of a green roof is a galvanized tub filled with grasses—a collaboration between the architects 
and landscape architecture firm space2place. Photo by Kamil Bialous. 

    A Vancouver architect maxes out a commercial lot to create a multiunit prefab tower that takes smart urban planning as seriously as good design. Each of the residences has outdoor space attached to it; the family’s unit has a roof deck. In 
lieu of a green roof is a galvanized tub filled with grasses—a collaboration between the architects 
and landscape architecture firm space2place. Photo by Kamil Bialous.
     

  • 
  Designer Omer Arbel develops his latest works inside an eclectic Vancouver home filled with a teeming assortment of pets and prototypes. Photo by José Mandojana. 

    Designer Omer Arbel develops his latest works inside an eclectic Vancouver home filled with a teeming assortment of pets and prototypes. Photo by José Mandojana.
     

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  OK, we're cheating a little here, as this one is on Salt Spring Island, just southwest of Vancouver. Here, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects crafted a cabin—modest in size yet bold in design—on the site where another cottage once stood. “The small size creates an intimate, protected refuge within a larger landscape,” architect Tom Kundig says. “It forces you to engage with the bigger landscape yet still provides a sanctuary from the elements.” 

    OK, we're cheating a little here, as this one is on Salt Spring Island, just southwest of Vancouver. Here, Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects crafted a cabin—modest in size yet bold in design—on the site where another cottage once stood. “The small size creates an intimate, protected refuge within a larger landscape,” architect Tom Kundig says. “It forces you to engage with the bigger landscape yet still provides a sanctuary from the elements.”
     

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  From our series street furniture your city wishes it had, we give you the Granville Bench by PWL. By mixing native materials (the wood) with urban flair (the metal), PWL Partnership’s Derek Lee led the in-house design of new street furniture for Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. The benches’ raised arm rests provide resistance from skateboarders, but also a provide a variety of gathering options. 

    From our series street furniture your city wishes it had, we give you the Granville Bench by PWL. By mixing native materials (the wood) with urban flair (the metal), PWL Partnership’s Derek Lee led the in-house design of new street furniture for Granville Street in downtown Vancouver. The benches’ raised arm rests provide resistance from skateboarders, but also a provide a variety of gathering options.
     

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  Another PWL piece your city wishes it had, the Olympic Village. A mix of street furniture designed for the Olympic Village in Vancouver offers swiveled chairs (all comforts of home right on the waterfront!) with oversized white loungers. Both get plenty of use by people looking to either relax or take in the urban waterfront sites on the newly designed boardwalk. 

    Another PWL piece your city wishes it had, the Olympic Village. A mix of street furniture designed for the Olympic Village in Vancouver offers swiveled chairs (all comforts of home right on the waterfront!) with oversized white loungers. Both get plenty of use by people looking to either relax or take in the urban waterfront sites on the newly designed boardwalk.
     

  • 
  A softwall is a freestanding and expandable partition made of fire-retardant paper and textiles, from the Vancouver-based firm molo. The softwall's honeycomb structure allows the material to expand from its compressed form to up to 15 feet long. If you're looking for a translucent divider, the white version will do the trick. For something moodier and more cocooning, the opaque black version, dyed with bamboo charcoal, is an appealing variation. 

    A softwall is a freestanding and expandable partition made of fire-retardant paper and textiles, from the Vancouver-based firm molo. The softwall's honeycomb structure allows the material to expand from its compressed form to up to 15 feet long. If you're looking for a translucent divider, the white version will do the trick. For something moodier and more cocooning, the opaque black version, dyed with bamboo charcoal, is an appealing variation.
     

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  “Many of Arthur Erickson’s buildings have a cold Brutalism about them; [with the Museum of Anthropology] he’s achieved a balance between that with the warmth in his treatment of windows,” says Omer Arbel. “The way the light comes in is almost a mystical experience.” Photo by João Canziani.

    “Many of Arthur Erickson’s buildings have a cold Brutalism about them; [with the Museum of Anthropology] he’s achieved a balance between that with the warmth in his treatment of windows,” says Omer Arbel. “The way the light comes in is almost a mystical experience.” Photo by João Canziani.

  • 
  As part of the cultural countdown to the winter Olympics in Vancouver 2010, media art group Springboard—a trio composed of architect Robert Duke, designers Keith Doyle and Iain Sinclair, and artistic directors Nicole Mion and Evann Seibens—created containR, a traveling art film house. 

    As part of the cultural countdown to the winter Olympics in Vancouver 2010, media art group Springboard—a trio composed of architect Robert Duke, designers Keith Doyle and Iain Sinclair, and artistic directors Nicole Mion and Evann Seibens—created containR, a traveling art film house.
     

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