Architecture and Design Obsession
urban agency takes inspiration from nature to design ‘vancouver forest’, a residential project with community space planned for vancouver, canada. informed by the dense forests of british columbia, the prospective development features a CLT structure and bamboo-clad façades covered in a ‘living canopy’ of plants and trees.
images courtesy of urban agency
the first three storys of the new development comprise 4,000 sqm (43,055.64 sqft) of community space and are expressed as two separate volumes, leaving a wide connective passage for pedestrians. 200 private apartments are accommodated from the fourth floor onwards, where the two separate units fuse into one cohesive structure. the large building is articulated as a stepped volume with curved edges to soften its impact. this stepped design strategy also generates generous south-facing terraces that bring in natural light and create valuable outdoor living spaces.
for the structure, urban agency wanted materials with a low embodied energy. the team therefore specified a bamboo-clad CLT frame. bamboo has been selected for its high tensile strength, efficient transportation, and the fact that it grows 15 times faster than traditional lumber.
the elevations will be clad in a modular, prefabricated system of glass and timber panels. terraces, intermittent balconies and bamboo posts also populate the elevational treatment, giving the building a dynamic character while echoing the forests of british columbia. the clusters of columns intend to reference their journey from forest to building: they float upstream, tied in floating bundles, efficiently transported by the river’s natural current.
finally, the elevations are complete with foliage, trees and plants. this ‘living canopy’ is intended to envelop the building, creating an everchanging façade and echoing the vitality, color and dappled light of a forest grove while establishing a new form of city living designed to passivhaus standards.
name: vancouver forest
location: vancouver, canada
architecture firm: urban agency
project: high-rise passivhaus apartments/community space
size: 200 homes, 4,000 sqm of community space