Cove's End

Escaping the stresses of life to relax poolside and revel in the incredible view is easy to imagine at this private residence. Surrounded by clean, contemporary lines, this space embodies laid back, West Coast style. Interior spaces seamlessly flow with exterior, creating a comforting and liveable luxury home ideal for entertaining. Designed by Paul Sangha Landscape Architecture and Hlynsky + Davis Architects, the team pulled inspiration from the natural surrounding to create a landscape and residence that carefully fits with the gentle slope of the property. Arriving at the water's edge, the design turns less formal, offering beach access and a quiet lookout to indulge in the calm, breathtaking scenery. Built by Bradner Homes.

 

 

Villa Maris: Video Profile

Video is quickly becoming the future of marketing and an accessible tool to showcase the stories of everyday architecture and design projects.

It's an engaging way to quickly share information, and the statistics on user engagement prove its value. Production costs have fallen significantly, making it affordable to small businesses; and apps and websites have optimized their platforms to make streaming easier and more enjoyable to viewers.

The clip above was my first introduction to the medium. Partnering with talented documentary filmmaker Josephine Anderson, our task was to profile the inspirations and challenges that came with realizing a recently completed landscape architecture project in West Vancouver.

Enns Gauthier Landscape Architects led the project, collaborating with Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, to transform an empty rooftop at the Villa Maris Apartments into a unique garden experience for the building residents. Taking inspiration from the local landscape and the site's panoramic setting along English Bay, the team used gentle mounds, native pines, beach logs, stone tiles, and flowing grasses to create an elegant installation that mimics the shoreline below.

Still images below. Click here for more.

Poolside Gardens

This private garden is a calming retreat featuring intimate seating areas for conversation and relaxing poolside. Designed by Paul Sangha Landscape Architect this beautifully detailed property balances aesthetics with form and function. The space combines clean, contemporary lines with rustic details, a textured plant palette, and tranquil water elements.

Click images below to enlarge:

 

AMS Student Nest at UBC

With the UBC student population outgrowing their previous 40 year old Student Union Building, Dialog and B+H were hired to design a dynamic new gathering place to fulfill the needs of today's students and serve as a model for future campus developments.

This impressive facility features extensive food and retail uses, club rooms, a black box theatre, meeting rooms, and an agricultural roof garden – all focused around a central atrium / agora. Designed to meet LEED Platinum status, the building proved itself as a student-centred hub of activity and a welcoming space during its inaugural school year of 2015-16. The unique architecture showcases an array of materials while using flowing forms to define space, and inspire movement of people and ideas


Click here for a detailed look at the building of The Nest.

Click images below to enlarge:

Richmond Olympic Oval

Like many venues during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, The Richmond Olympic Oval needed to function during the games but also to extend beyond its two week glory. PFS Studio was successful in creating a thriving multi-sport complex and community centre, which has become a hub of activity on the Fraser River.

The extensive and well detailed landscape features three major open spaces. The River Green, an amphitheater space with views to the Fraser River. A 91-meter boardwalk over a stormwater detention pond known as The Water Sky Garden that allows pedestrians to stroll through the space and enjoy the public art feature "Sky Lantern" by Janet Echelman, which floats gracefully above. Finally, The Legacy Plaza functions as an urban 'town square' and gathering place for the community. The space is defined by oval arcing stairs / concrete walls and plays host to events, food truck festivals, recreational volleyball and outdoor movie nights.

The Olympic grandeur may be gone, but this legacy development, one of the largest recreation facilities in Canada, will be used and loved by the community for years to come.  Click images to enlarge.

Irving K Barber Learning Centre

To successfully mesh new architectural form with an existing heritage structure is often a difficult and sensitive task. The new(ish) Irving K Barber Learning Centre is a perfect example of how to do this well. Built around a refurbished core that dates back to 1925, the new facility designed by Dialog employs an intelligent massing scheme and thoughtful material selection to create a contemporary envelop that fits well with it's predecessor. Landscape designed by the talented team at Perry + Associates. Click Images to enlarge.

The Central // Main Street, Vancouver

One of Vancouver's more unique condo projects is now complete. The Central development by Onni Group, near Main and Terminal, is a little different than the typical glass and concrete residential tower aesthetic that has become so common place in our city. Eight structural concrete pillars stretching to the 15th Level, support a eight storey residential block that sits atop two lower level buildings residential and mixed-use commercial / office spaces. Designed by IBI Group and Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture, the Level 1 features an impressive courtyard with an expansive, tranquil water feature. Check out the images below. 

Guinness and Marine Building Interiors

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Two well established downtown Vancouver office buildings are looking a little nicer. Correction, a lot nicer. The team at Dialog recently completed a new cafe kiosk in the Guinness Building and lobby and washroom renovations in the Marine Building. Strikingly different in program and concept, both spaces feature bold black and white colour palettes and on trend use of patterns and materials. Detailed with contemporary graphics and signage by Glasfurd & Walker, the careful use of typography reads prominent within each space and goes along way to making each space feels uniquely their own. Check out the images below (click to enlarge). 

JJ Bean // Cambie Street

About a month ago I had the wonderful opportunity to work with the talented team at Dialog to photograph their recently completed JJ Bean coffee shop on Cambie and 18th. In the midst of the constantly evolving Cambie Street corridor, the space is an energizing spot to grab a latte to go or enjoy a coffee while catching up with friends amongst a bright, daylight filled interior. A vibrant coloured facade along 18th is eye-catching to passersby, while the inside uses natural wood and charcoal tile to create a refined urban aesthetic. This mix of playful ideas with well executed design details, makes for an approachable space that speaks to the uniqueness of JJ Bean's brand. Have a look at a few of the photos below. 

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Beautiful Pender Island

One of the great perks of architectural photography, is travelling to destinations that you might not have otherwise planned. Working on assignment for Dialog this week, I visited Pender Island for the first time. Beautiful mid-August weather, the Fall Fair, and enjoying fresh crab at our quiet cabin were among the highlights. The Island itself is filled with an array of ocean access points and stunning vistas to Boundary Pass, Swanson Strait, and neighbouring Gulf Islands both in Canada and the United States. More on the shoot soon, in the meantime here are a few images of the peaceful landscape. 

Poet's Cove, Pender Island, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Peter Cove, Pender Island, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Boundary Pass, Pender Island, Photo by Brett Hitchins

The Cultural Landscape Foundation

This September 20th and 21st, a dedicated team of volunteers is bringing The Cultural Landscape Foundation's Garden Dialogues series to Vancouver. The event "provides unique opportunities for small groups to visit some of today’s most beautiful gardens created by some of the most accomplished designers currently in practice." For more information, and to purchase tickets, visit TCFL.org. Tour stops include:

The Courtyard House Garden: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, with Nick Milkovich

Koo's Courtyard and Mid-Main Park: Hapa Collaborative, with Bruce Haden 

Reflections: Paul Sangha, with Fossil Project Services

Eppich Garden: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, with Nick Milkovich

 

The Courtyard House Garden, designed by Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Photo by Brett Hitchins

The Courtyard House Garden, designed by Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Photo by Brett Hitchins

The Courtyard House Garden, designed by Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Photo by Brett Hitchins

The Courtyard House Garden, designed by Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Jericho Park Restoration

Since Jericho Marginal Wharf re-opened for public use last year, the project has become an instant success amongst tourist and local residents. Resting along the shores of English Bay, the restoration project dismantled an abandoned wharf, restoring a once inaccessible waterfront to a natural sand beach where visitor's now relax, swim, and enjoy views to downtown Vancouver. The site, which is home to Vancouver's ever popular Folk Fest, was designed by Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture in conjunction with Moffat Nichol to celebrate a wide variety of recreational activities and opportunities for social interaction in thoughtful balance with ecology systems. For its considerable shoreline and habitat enhancements efforts, the project has earned a Gold Award from The Stewardship Centre for British Columbia. Read more at Landezine.

Beach Restoration, Jericho Beach, Photo by Brett Hitchins

New Viewing Plaza at Dusk, Jericho Beach, Photo by Brett Hitchins

New Viewing Plaza at Dusk, Jericho Beach, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Native Planting, Jericho Beach, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Interpretive Signage, Jericho Beach, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Viewscope offering views to Downtown Vancouver, Jericho Beach, Photo by Brett Hitchins

New Multi-Use Trails, Jericho Beach, Photo by Brett Hitchins

World Landscape Architecture | Project Urban Fabric

The success of Project Urban Fabric was once again highlighted this month, this time with a feature spread in World Landscape Architecture magazine. Hardworking volunteers devoted hundreds of hours to the planning, design, and installation. It's great to see they're earning the attention it deserves. 

 

Project Urban Fabric, World Landscape Architecture Spread 1, photography by Brett Hitchins

Project Urban Fabric, World Landscape Architecture spread 2, photography by Brett Hitchins

Project Urban Fabric, World Landscape Architecture spread 3, photography by Brett Hitchins

Project Urban Fabric, World Landscape Architecture spread 4, photography by Brett Hitchins

Surfing in Tofino

Brent walks along Chesterman Beach, Tofino, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Project Urban Fabric

Last week, some incredibly dedicated volunteers at the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects installed a large scale urban art installation at the Sheraton Wall Centre in downtown Vancouver to celebrate the BCSLA’s 50 Year Anniversary and kick off the 2014 BC Land Summit. The project — appropriately name Project Urban Fabric — has been a huge success, quickly becoming an engaging and popular destination with Vancouver residents and tourists. The colourful park design is an exemplary showcase of landscape architects' multi-faceted talents. The original park was design by PFS Studio. Follow updates online at #projecturbanfabric. Click images to enlarge.

Project Urban Fabric, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Project Urban Fabric, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Project Urban Fabric, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Project Urban Fabric, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Project Urban Fabric, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Project Urban Fabric, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Project Urban Fabric, Photo by Brett Hitchins

The BCSLA Celebrates 50 Years

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects. In preparation for the celebratory Green Tie Gala, Adrienne Brown and myself have been helping to create a slide show showcasing the membership's extensive, and incredible, body of work from the past five decades. A few sample projects I've been fortunate to photograph are included below. To see more BCSLA projects visit the online web atlas at sitelines.org. Click the images to enlarge. 

BCSLA 50 Year Gala Slideshow, Photo by Brett Hitchins

BCSLA 50 Year Gala Slideshow, Photo by Brett Hitchins

BCSLA 50 Year Gala Slideshow, Photo by Brett Hitchins

BCSLA 50 Year Gala Slideshow, Photo by Brett Hitchins

BCSLA 50 Year Gala Slideshow, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Architek's New Office

Had the wonderful opportunity to photograph Architek's new office space last month.  Located at 28 West 7th Ave, the former warehouse space has been beautifully transformed into a modern design office by Karen Wan-Gauthier of d.WG Design Studio and the construction team of Marc Gauthier HomesArchitek is a Vancouver based sustainability leader known for "full-service living architecture solutions including: green roofs, living walls and green facades." Click the images to enlarge. 

Architek's Interior Office Space, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Architek's Interior Office Space, Photo by Brett Hitchins

Architek's Interior Office Space, Photo by Brett Hitchins