LMN Architects designs an 'ecologically integrated' convention venue for Vancouver
The design of the new Vancouver Convention Centre West presented an opportunity to fully engage the urban ecosystem at the interface between a vibrant downtown core and one of the most spectacular natural ecosystems in North America. Certified LEED® Canada Platinum, the project weaves together architecture, interior architecture, and urban design in a unified whole that functions literally as an ecologically integrated system at the intersection of the city and the harbour.
The building is designed to provide the users maximum flexibility over the life of the building. As a Convention Center Facility, the Exhibit Hall, Ballroom and Meeting Rooms are all designed to adapt to a variety of conference, exhibition and convention business requirements. The program is carefully designed both to interact with the landforms and to lie within the central core of the building, making it possible to create an ultra-clear structural glass skin on all sides. As a result, the interior is constantly connected to daylight and views of the harbour, waterfront parks, and the downtown core. By night, the building’s interior lighting creates an urban lantern at the water’s edge.
A prominent feature is the centre’s six-acre living roof, which is Canada’s largest and the biggest non-industrial living roof in North America. Landscaped with 400,000 native plants and grasses, the living roof acts like an insulator to mediate the exterior air temperature as well as contributing to the building’s stormwater utilisation and integrates with the waterfront landscape ecosystem. On-site black water treatment and desalinisation systems cut potable water use 60 to 70 percent over typical convention centers. With 40 percent of the facility over water, an innovative artificial reef is part of the building’s foundation, providing critical marine habitat.
At 14 acres on land and 8 acres over water, the Convention Centre site encompasses both a singular building and a new urban district. The district is at once a celebration and a microcosm of the ecological and human elements of its site.