World's greenest convention centre is a living demonstration of 'urban ecology'
Winner of the 2011 WAN Effectiveness Award, Vancouver Convention Centre West (designed by LMN+MCM/DA) presented an opportunity to fully engage the urban ecosystem at the intersection of 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 a living part of both the city and the harbour.
The design approach creates a community experience that is simultaneously a building, an urban district, a park and an ecosystem. The convention centre program emphasises spaces for both public and private events, gatherings and circulation. Urban spaces formed by the building’s landforms extend the downtown street grid to preserve view corridors out to the water. Waterfront and urban pedestrian activities extend the public realm through and around the site, with 400,000-sq-ft of walkways, bikeways, public open space and plazas, constituting the city’s first major public gathering space on the water.
The entire perimeter enclosure is an ultra-clear glass system, which provides strong linkages between interior and exterior public spaces, and visually reinforces the integration of urban and waterfront context into the user experience of the building. The most iconic evidence of the project’s deep approach to ecology is its living roof, at 6 acres it is the largest in Canada, modeled after a coastal grassland and participating in the habitat stepping-stone network of the region.
Below the water’s surface, a marine habitat skirt restores the shoreline ecology to pre-industrial conditions, helping to restore a salmon migration path. Sustainable design technologies such as on-site wastewater treatment and seawater heat exchangers reduce the total water use of the district by 70% and energy use by 60% from comparable baselines.
Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership
DA Architects + Planners