Herzog & de Meuron
Project
2014-
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438_CI_231211_003_PRI

Process

Urban development on the Vancouver Downtown Peninsula occurred very rapidly in the second half of the 20th Centruy. Today the peninsula is almost at capacity, and dominated by vertical glass towers.

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438_SI_1511_001_Vancouver-1930
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438_SI_1511_002_Vancouver-1970
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438_SI_1511_003_Vancouver-2014

The site, Larwill Park, is one of the few remaining unbuilt city blocks. It has a legacy of civic use, but today is used as a parking lot. The surrounding city blocks are not well defined, and streetscape activation is lacking.

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438_DR_140607_Vancouver_city_map_topo_grid
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438_RF_220711_larwill-park
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438_CI_141021_Larwill-Park-Centre-Toward-Cambie
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438_CI_141021_Larwill-Park-Dunsmuir-Beatty
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438_CI_141905_Site_State

Larwill Park lies at the intersection of 4 pedestrian active neighbourhoods – Gastown, Yaletown, Downtown, and Chinatown. Therefore the project site has much potential to activate and better define the surrounding streetscape and start connecting the four adjacent neighbourhoods, thereby anchoring the new cultural precinct with the new Vancouver Art Gallery at its heart.

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438_SI_141905_Street
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438_SI_152103_IMG_5813
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438_SI_220711_Downtown
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438_SI_220711_Vancouver-Chinatown-Past-and-Future-6
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438_SI_141905_Site-Aerial-01

Three key design principles enable the new building to engage with the site’s legacy and urban situation.

The first is to link the new development with adjacent streetscapes, plazas and transport nodes, connecting the Queen Elizabeth Theatre and the Vancouver Public Library to the Stadium-Chinatown Metro station.

438_DG_150912_Steps_DG_diagram_01
438_DG_150912_Steps_DG_diagram_01

Secondly, a low perimeter building and accessible public courtyard with public programs activates both the courtyard and the sidewalk, whilst keeping the site open and permeable.

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438_DG_150912_Steps_diagram_02-01

Third, the gallery volumes are lifted above the courtyard, allowing air, light, and permeable space. The low courtyard building invites entry to the unticketed courtyard; the sculptural and upright gallery tower places a tall public building amidst the surrounding context of vertical private development.

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438_DG_150912_Steps_diagram_03

The first concept design studies explored joining the two parcels on Larwill Park into one development. All schemes consisted of a low volume activating the streetfront, combined with verticality and a network of landscaped open spaces or courtyards. The vertical elements offer views to the city and nature beyond. The courtyards bring lush nature into this part of the city.

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438_MO_1410_014-MOd
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438_MO_1502_026-MOd
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438_MO_1502_026-MOa
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438_CI_1502_DT07_QU stack building plinth

In conversation with City of Vancouver and various stakeholders, the preference for museum function only and separate mixed-use development adjacent was established. This led to the idea of a vertical stacked gallery, placed within an open, permeable, non-ticketed courtyard.

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438_MO_1410_002-MOc
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438_MO_1703_016_MOc

The courtyard has been studied as a singular open outdoor space with a sunken garden and lobby, as well as a public plaza surrounding a 3-storey enclosed lobby space at ground level. Both explored the idea of an unticketed open space with much opportunity for planting.

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438_MO_150914_Model-Shot-White01
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438_CI_1605_DT42_courtyard_MV_4
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438_CI_1605_DT18_Lobby_Garden_Escalator
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438_MO_1601_024
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438_CI_1706_007_Lobby4_ceiling1_allConcFloor_blackEsc_crop
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438_CI_1811_003_Courtyard-Cambie-StairPavilion_Signage
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438_CI_1610_DT43_Courtyard4
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438_CI_150921_171_Courtyard_night_K

The vertical stacked tower allows for strong indoor-outdoor relationships and compelling views on all levels. Art and education spaces adjacent to public terraces, gallery suites with precisely framed windows looking to the city beyond, and very generous public circulation routes, the Naves, which double as art space, oriented in the direction of the city grid. All of these allow the visitor to have a sense of time and orientation as they travel through the vertical museum.

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438_MO_160917_476_M
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438_CI_1502_DT05_Gallery
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438_CI_1703_089_L5_Gallery_concrete_floor_light
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438_CI_1704_001_LV5_Nave_people
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438_MO_160229_026_K
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438_MO_161027_018_M

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The material exploration has developed over many years from a wood clad building, to a glass log facade, to a woven copper facade.

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438_CI_1509_178_queen_elizabeth_square
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438_CI_1509_176__WG-Entrance
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438_CI_1611_016_ENV_zoom_500mm
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438_MU_160822_008_Glass-Tubes
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438_MU_190522_in-house-mock-up_065

The current facade has been developed in close collaboration with a group of Coast Salish artists, who shared their knowledge of locally developed weaving techniques.

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438_CL_220609_Artist-and-Chief
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438_RFmt_210621_Pattern-Weaving
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438_RF_221107_Threads-twist-and-fibre
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438_RFmt_210621_Pacific-Northwest-Wood-Cabin
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438_RFmt_220711_waving_sample_from_colaborators_detail
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438_RFmt_210429_Chevron-Buddy-Mockup

The low courtyard building is a wooden structure, made of mass timber elements that are both visible and structural. The tower is constructed of steel trusses and outriggers connected to concrete cores.

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The cantilevering tower volumes are wrapped in a lustrous metal skin, made up of horizontal bands and profiled vertical elements arranged in a woven metal assembly that echoes the local weaving traditions of the Coast Salish people. Design Technologies creates a CNC-milled mold to fabcirate the copper facade elements.

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438_CI_2109_097_LAY_L03Mezz_Facade_OptionD_CloseUP_K
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438_MU_221117_Press_forming-Tube_workshop_tests (33)_K
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438_DG_230518_MoldMillingPath
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438_DG_230518_IMG_8861
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438_MU_221117_IMG_1432_K
IMG_1440
IMG_1440
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438_CI_2212_002_FCD_Mockup_K
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438_RFmt_210621_Ad-Hoc-Artist-Collective-Weft_K

Drawings

438_DR_220711_Pin up Section
438_DR_220711_Pin up Section

Team

Project Team
Jeremy Addison (Project Director)
Volker Jacob (Project Manager)
Jos Reinders (Project Manager)
Michael Bekker (Associate)
Lukasz Szlachcic (Associate)
Valentin Abend
Roman Aebi
Bruno de Almeida Martins
Jeanne Autran-Edorh
Michal Baurycza
Mikolaj Bazaczek
Frédéric Beaupère
Michael Bekker
Antoine Berchier
Mario Bonilla
Aurélien Caetano (Associate, Project Architect)
Catarina Canas
Javier de Cárdenas Canomanuel
Paolo Catrambone
Yasemin Ciorabai
Ryan Cole
David Colombini
João Conceição
Massimo Corradi
Catarina Croft
Joao Da Silva Moreira
Casper Dam
Giulio Delle Sedie
Simon Demeuse
Nadia Dias
Dave Edwards
Joshua Ehrlich
Niklas Erlewein
Santiago Espitia Berndt
Erik Fichter
Michel Frei
Luis Gisler
Stefan Goeddertz
Laura Gonzalez Alastuey
Ciarán Grogan
Anthony Haag
Christian Hahn
Duyi Han
Josh Helin
Vasileios Kalisperakis
Maria Krasteva
Lap Chi Kwong
Dan Ladyman
Sahng O Lee
Ines Li-Wearing
Jan-Christoph Lindert
Alonso Mortera
Magnus Möschel
Jan Mulder
Benjamin Muller
Ludwig Müller
Alessandro Musolino
Richard Nelson-Chow
Gourav Neogi
Niklas Nordström
Raneen Nosh
Mehmet Noyan
Dominik Nüssen
Albert Palazón
Felipe Pecegueiro Curado
Enrique Peláez
Gonzalo Peña
Alessandro Racca
Holger Rasch
Liam Rawlins
Hugo Rebelo
Zoé Renaud
Steffen Riegas
Anna Salvioni
Philipp Schaefle
Stephan Schenk
Roel Schiffers
Manuela Schönenberger
Martin Schulte
Günter Schwob
Lasse Skafte
Aleksandar Slavikovic
Christian Szalay
Nuria Tejerina
Diana-Ionela Toader
João Filipe Varandas
Maria Vega Lopez
André Vergueiro
Leona Wagener
Harry M.X. Wei
Louie Weiss
Finn Wilkie
Matteo Zapparoli

Facts

Client
The Vancouver Art Gallery Association
Planning
Design Consultant: Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd, Basel, Switzerland
Executive Architect: Perkins & Will, Vancouver, Canada
Landscape Architect: PFS Studio, Vancouver, Canada
Structural Engineering: Fast & Epp, Vancouver, Canada
Mechanical & Electrical Engineering: Integral Group, Vancouver, Canada
Specialist / Consulting
Facade Engineering: RDH Facade Engineering, Vancouver, Canada
Traffic Engineering: Bunt & Associates LLC, Vancouver, Canada
Vertical Transportation: Arup, London, UK
Building Code: GHL Consultants Ltd, Vancouver, Canada
Civil Engineering: Aplin Martin, Vancouver, Canada
Sustainability & Passive House: RDH, Vancouver, Canada
Lighting: Arup, London, UK
Acoustics: RWDI, Vancouver, Canada
Art & Design Consultants: Debra Sparrow, Chepximiya Siyam’ Janice George, Skwetsimeltxw Willard ‘Buddy’ Joseph, and Angela George; Vancouver, Canada
Contractors
General Contractor: Ledcor Construction Limited, Vancouver, Canada
Building Data
Site Area: 910'407 sqft, 84'579 sqm
Gross floor area (GFA): 487'726 sqft, 45'311 sqm
GFA above ground: 322'531 sqft, 29'964 sqm
GFA below ground: 165'195 sqft, 15'347 sqm
Number of levels: 14
Footprint: 44'046 sqft, 4'092 sqm
Length: 188 ft, 57 m
Width: 182 ft, 55 m
Height: 226 ft, 68 m
Gross volume (GV): 8'035'829 cbft, 227'549 cbm
Facade surface: 181'652 sqft, 16'876 sqm
Links
www.vanartgallery.bc.ca

Bibliography

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva Monografias. Herzog & de Meuron 2013-2017.” Vol. No. 191-192, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 12.2016.

Location