Vancouver Embraces Public Spaces
When most people think about public spaces, outdoor spaces often come to mind. The park or courtyard where neighbors meet while walking their dogs, the park bench where seniors read their newspaper or even the skate park where youth practice or show off their latest trick. Public spaces are important as it is in these places where people can spontaneously interact, create connections and build community. Whether inside or outside, interior design plays a big role in creating these communal spaces where we connect every day. Interior designers must consider how people interact within a space and with each other in public spaces. The design of great public spaces are pleasing, playful and unique – ensuring that the public will regularly visit and that the space will have adequate use. With densification on the rise there is a greater need to create more public spaces for urban dwellers to enjoy. Looking for new public spaces to check out in Vancouver? Here are a few that we are excited about taking interior design outdoors!
Downtown Vancouver Laneways
Next time you are in the Downtown Vancouver’s central business district, you might want to meander through the laneway located south of West Hastings Street between Granville and Seymour. Recently the laneway has been revitalized with a fresh coat of bright pink and yellow paint on the road and walls – nothing you have ever seen before in Vancouver. The laneway has been transformed into a pedestrian-friendly public space with basketball hoops and mini soccer nets – a great place to gather during a lunch break! A handful of basketballs and soccer balls are also available for people to play with or you can bring your own equipment. In addition, the Odyssey Nightclub will have a bar outside their back door, playing music every night to transform the laneway into a place where people will want to gather and socialize (much like Europe). The string lighting overhead also adds to the welcoming atmosphere at night with patio space extensions into the lane for Starbucks and Trees Organic Coffee Shop. Sounds cool right? It is all part of a pilot project by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association, the City of Vancouver, local businesses and is designed by HCMA Architecture + Design. Two more laneway revitalizations are also in the works, so keep an eye out for these!
Beneath Granville Street Bridge
We briefly mentioned Vancouver House before in our previous blog post “New Iconic Architecture in Vancouver” and the market-style area under the Granville Street Bridge. The public space is also designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), which is known for creating fantastic public spaces along with architecture around the world. BIG has reimagined the bleak space beneath the foot of the Granville Street Bridge to become a civic space for the city and an attractive place to spend time. An art installation will go on the underside of the bridge, which will liven up the infrastructure that separates the buildings. This will set the tone for what we imagine will be a vibrant plaza space where people will buy products from vendors, gather and connect. We are sure to give this space a visit once it is completed!
In 2018, make sure to take a Seabus over to Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver to visit Metro Vancouver’s largest outdoor ice rink! It is a part of a revitalization project for the Lonsdale waterfront, providing much needed public amenities and event spaces in North Vancouver. The new structure will be located on a site east of The Shipyards buildings. It will be an ice surface with a looped skating trail in the wintertime. In the summer, the ice surface will be transformed into a plaza space for events and part of the west side will be converted into a play area with pools and sprayers that kids will love. We’re excited to see a concert or festival here and visit the new restaurants and retail stores that are proposed for the area!
We can’t wait to check these public spaces out! Which one is at the top of your list? #area3publicspace