This proposal by Chris Doray Studio Inc, entered as a wild card into the reCONNECT Vancouver Competition, aims to diminish the mental divide between the west end and the east side of the city. It will provide badly-needed recreational facilities in this part of the city and return some ‘authentic life’ to the easterners, with eight kilometres of shoreline amenities and a sandy beach in a 90 ha park. It also includes an ecological plan that converts ocean and grey waters using 12ha of reed-bed natural reserve to purify the water.
A simple formula and sleek design means water becomes a focus in this proposal. Water is a precious commodity, a vital resource - we are dependent on water but also endangered by it. With rising water levels and the increasingly heavy inland rains urban living faces new challenges. The designers at Chris Doray Studio felt that it is essential to integrate water dynamically in living space, wherever and however it may occur.
The challenge is combining striking design with sustainable water management in usable urban spaces. Another bold aspect to this new ‘Urban-Pluralism’ is mapping the intangible through the act of annulment and reconstituting this disordered east side through the introduction of three new geometries: a 40ha Aquatic Landscape - Water Town, Aqua Towers, Reed Bed Natural Reserve, Marina; a 90ha Natural Landscape - Park Residences, Beach; and a 30ha Urban Landscape - Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver Art Gallery + Residences, VAG Sculpture Garden.
The architects’ purpose has been to envision an urban way of living that frees individuals within a community from restricting conventions of thought and action, in order to realise more fully than is presently possible to answer the question, ‘What is Human?’ Hence adopting a Free-Zone Space: an urban planning approach that aims at inducing the sensory experiences. Both vivid and lucid, each is in a constant state of flux: first in time, then in place and finally in human state.