Former Vancouver Remand Centre converted to housing for the poor
The following is an excerpt from this article, written by Jeff Lee, was originally published on the Vancouver Sun Website on August 06, 2015.
A building that once housed some of Canada’s most notorious criminals, from terrorists to murderers and rapists, will get new residents later this month. But instead of housing more criminals, the former Vancouver Remand Centre has been converted at a cost of more than $20 million into a new home for 96 residents of the Downtown Eastside.
The barred doors, dark windowless cells, tiered bunks and electronically monitored prisoners are long gone. Closed in 2002 and left empty until renovations began in 2012, the building at 250 Powell Street was once the main remand facility for as many as 400 prisoners awaiting trial, but there is nothing left to signify that…
Like father, like son: The remand centre, with its unique welded-on concrete prisoner pods, was designed by Richard Henriquez in the 1970s. Fast-forward four decades and his son Gregory wins the contract to re-design the building as a residential tower for youth, the working poor and people on assistance. “The building has all the right bones. It just needs to be re-visioned into something more nurturing,” Gregory Henriquez said.