Coal Harbour Convention District

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Coal Harbour Convention District | Notes of Interest

The Coal Harbour neighborhood on the north shore of Vancouver’s downtown peninsula has been the site of several redevelopment efforts by the city since the 1980s. Historically an industrial district characterized by shipyards, lumber mills, seaplane manufacturing, and railroads, the area began to change dramatically with the construction of the Canada Place pier for Expo ’86. As industries moved out of Coal Harbor, the city set in motion a long-term plan to redevelop the area as a high-density, mixed-use neighborhood that takes advantage of its desirable Stanley Park.

The design knits the convention center experience into the urban fabric of the downtown core, using the building to frame public open space and extend the city’s pedestrian activity to the waterfront. A public promenade and bike trail complete an important link in the city’s park system, originating from Stanley Park to the west.

The architectural expression embodies the diverse elements that define its place. Use of folded landforms blurs the distinction between building and landscape, urbanity and nature, creating a major civic plaza and a six-acre living roof, the largest in Canada.

Additional Credit

  • Acoustic Consultants: Arup Acoustics; Daniel Lyzun & Associates
  • Audio Visual: Sparling
  • Barrier Free: Barrier Free Design
  • Building Code Consultant: LMDG Building Code Consultants Ltd.
  • Building Envelope Consultant: Morrison Hershfield
  • Commissioning Authority and Mechanical Commissioning Agent: KD Engineering Co.
  • Communications Consultant: The Pace Group
  • Contractor: PCL Construction Enterprises
  • Cost Consultant: BTY Group
  • Design/Development Manager: K. Grassi Project Development Ltd.
  • Engineer: Civil: Sandwell Engineering Inc.
  • Engineer: Electrical: Schenke/Bawol Engineering Ltd.
  • Engineer: Fire Protection: GHL Consultants Ltd.
  • Engineer: Geotechnical: Golder Associates
  • Engineer: Materials: Levelton Consultants
  • Engineer: Mechanical: Stantec Consulting
  • Engineer: Parking and Traffic: Bunt & Associates Engineering Ltd.; ND Lea Consulting Ltd.
  • Engineer: Structural: Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers and Earth Tech (Canada) Inc.
  • Environmental Consultant: EBA Engineering Consultants Ltd.
  • Ethics Advisor: Carol Roberts
  • Facility Operations Consultant: Buckley-Christison International LLC
  • Food Service Consultant: William Caruso & Associates
  • Horticultural & Ecological Consultant: Rana Creek Habitat Restoration
  • Landscape Architect: PWL Partnership Landscape Architects Inc.
  • Marine/Foundation Consultant: WorleyParsons Westmar
  • Project Management: Stantec Consulting ; VCCEP Ltd.
  • Public Art Consultant: Public Art Management
  • Quality Management Consultant: Levelton Consultants Ltd.
  • Retail Consultant: Urbanics Consultants Ltd.
  • Revenue Maximization: Bell-Irving Grauer Enterprise Corporation
  • Security Advisor: 3Si Risk Strategies
  • Signage & Wayfinding Consultant: Gottschalk & Ash
  • Specialty Lighting Consultant: Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design
  • Surveyor: Butler Sundvick & Associates
  • Sustainability Coordinator: Sustainability Solutions Group
  • Telecommunications Consultant: RADA Technology Consulting Inc.
  • Value Engineering Facilitator: Olympic Associates
  • Vertical Transportation Consultant: John W. Gunn Consultants Inc.
  • Wind Consultant: DFA Engineering

Photo Credit

  • © PWL Partnership
  • © LMN Architects
  • © Nic Lehoux

Coal Harbour Convention District

Jury Comments

This is an outstanding development of the public edge of the city at its waterfront. The project transforms the convention center typology into a true “civic” piece of the city. The balance of built and open space is spectacular and the linear orientation of the park and convention center take full advantage of the water’s edge. Detailing of the water’s edge integrates human access with ecological habitat restoration and sustainable systems to an impressive degree.

This is beautifully done with an integration of urban and architectural strategies.

This design grabs at opportunities that were presented by problems left unresolved by individual buildings. It punctuates the water and what is around it in a positive way that creates places for people.

More about Coal Harbour Convention District.

2013 Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design Jury

  • Mark Shapiro, AIA, Chair
  • Mithun, Inc.
  • Seattle
  • Ellen Dunham-Jones, AIA
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • Atlanta
  • William A. Gilchrist, FAIA
  • Place Based Planning
  • New Orleans
  • Toni L. Griffin, AIA
  • The City College of New York
  • New York City
  • Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
  • U.S. Commission of Fine Arts
  • Washington, DC

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