Coal Harbour Community Centre
Built on a sloped waterfront site consisting of 1,200 piles in reclaimed ocean with a park on top of the building and a gym located below sea level, the nautically-themed Coal Harbour Community Centre is located on the south side of Burrard Inlet. It is immediately adjacent to the waterfront on its northern edge and fronts a major urban street, Hastings, on its southern edge.
The project involved programming and a pre-Development Permit application to the City of Vancouver for the entire site. Henriquez Partners Architects led numerous meetings with official stakeholders and community members to ensure the complex program met the diverse needs of the many user groups. The yearlong consultation process, involving workshops and open houses, resulted in the definition of a master plan and a preliminary design that affirmed Coal Harbour’s revitalization from an obsolete industrial site to a dense urban neighborhood.
The community centre’s architectural vocabulary establishes and reinforces continuity with Coal Harbour’s maritime history. Organic concrete site work anchors the community centre’s buried form, which emerges from the water’s edge like a surfacing submarine. The central corridor, penetrated by a yellow conical tower skylight, is designed like the hull of a ship. Details such as stainless steel railing further the metaphor.
Status: Completed in 2000
Size: 85,000 square feet