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Cambie Apartments in Vancouver

New Homes on Cambie Street in BC, Canada design by Haeccity Studio Architecture

29 Jul 2018

Cambie Apartments

Design: Haeccity Studio Architecture

Location: 2930 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Cambie Apartments, Vancouver

Cambie Apartments in Vancouver

Haeccity Studio Architecture, a Vancouver-based practice, recently completed a major revitalization of a 3-storey, wood-framed 1920s character building that accommodates 19 rental units. The historic building located at 2930 Cambie Street maintains its modest yet engaging street presence along Cambie Corridor, one of the city’s major arterial routes.

Cambie Apartments in Vancouver

“We wanted to give new life to an old building, while simultaneously honouring its previous contribution to the city,” explains Travis Hanks, Haeccity Principal, “At a time when buildings are disappearing along the Cambie Corridor, we had an opportunity to ensure these homes would flourish into a new era.”

Cambie Apartments in Vancouver Cambie Apartments in Vancouver

The project involved a comprehensive upgrade of all systems and interiors, including a more effective suite layout that resulted in an additional 5 units and new shared amenity spaces. All the units were updated to align with contemporary lifestyles, complete with modern fixtures and built-ins.

Cambie Apartments in Vancouver Cambie Apartments in Vancouver

For nearly a 100 years, passersby on Cambie could look through a celebrated front entry to a stair leading directly to upper levels. This common Vancouver feature, however, poses a number of serious challenges in terms of egress, accessibility, and life safety.

To extend the building’s life, a solution emerged in the form of a clearly demarcated “insertion” into the character structure, a new modern stair and lobby that stood in clear distinction to its heritage context. Turning on its head the notion of history as a black and white photo, the new, modern stair intervention is rendered in neutral black and white, leaving the existing construction to endure in living colour.

Cambie Apartments in Vancouver Cambie Apartments in Vancouver

As this was the first renovation in the building’s history, a large accumulation of antiquated building components were discovered – a kind of architectural archive of obsolete building technologies. The design team realized early on the importance of finding a meaningful way to physically and conceptually embed these objects and materials in the building’s new expression.

Cambie Apartments in Vancouver Cambie Apartments in Vancouver

“These components convey traces of the building’s history, while preserving the narratives of its previous inhabitants,” says Shirley Shen, Haeccity Co-founder, “The idea of retaining and reusing the materials with ingenuity guided the renovation’s design.”

Cambie Apartments in Vancouver

Plaster on lathe, inlaid oak flooring, cast iron tubs, and wood panel doors were all refurbished in place. Areas that were too damaged to remain were carefully removed, stored, and upcycled into new installations.

Cambie Apartments in Vancouver

Pre-electric iceboxes became workshop cabinets; concrete laundry sinks became planters; old-growth douglas fir was crafted into custom furniture. Cast iron furnace doors, single-hung window weights, antique lock sets, brass doorknobs, doorbells and hardware were all preserved, and integrated back into the building.

Cambie Apartments in Vancouver

Cambie Apartments, Vancouver – Building Information

Architect’s Firm: Haeccity Studio Architecture
Project location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Completion Year: 2017
Gross Built Area (square meters or square foot): 12,000 sf

Lead Architects: Travis Hanks Other participants: (eg. collaborators, clients, consultants, etc): Designers: Shirley Shen, Jorge Roman

Industrial Design: Theunis Snyman, Basic Design

Structural Consultant: Fast + Epp

Envelope Consultant: LDR Engineering Group

Cambie Apartments in Vancouver Cambie Apartments in Vancouver

Photos: Exterior: Andrew Latrielle Photography

Photos: Interior: Krista Jahnke

Cambie Apartments in Vancouver information / images received 290718

Location: 2930 Cambie Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada

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Website: Haeccity Studio Architecture