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Reinventing spaces/reoccuring places : a re-examination of Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park, North Vancouver Suen, Jennie 2004

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Reinventing Spaces/Reoccuring Places: A Re-Examination of Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park, North Vancouver By Jennie Suen B . S c , University of Hawaii, Manoa, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE D E G R E E OF M A S T E R OF L A N D S C A P E A R C H I T E C T U R E in THE FACULTY OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Landscape Architecture We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standards THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A U G U S T , 2004 © Jennie Suen, 2004 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Library Authorization In p r e s e n t i n g th is thes is in par t ia l fu l f i l lment o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s fo r a n a d v a n c e d d e g r e e at t h e Un ivers i ty o f Br i t ish C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e tha t t h e L ibrary shal l m a k e it f ree ly ava i lab le fo r re fe rence a n d s tudy . I fu r ther a g r e e tha t p e r m i s s i o n fo r ex tens ive c o p y i n g o f th is thes is fo r scho la r l y p u r p o s e s m a y b e g r a n t e d by t h e h e a d o f m y d e p a r t m e n t or by h is or her rep resen ta t i ves . It is u n d e r s t o o d tha t c o p y i n g or pub l i ca t ion o f th is t hes i s fo r f inanc ia l ga in shal l no t be a l l o w e d w i thou t m y wr i t ten p e r m i s s i o n . J e n n i e S u e n A u g u s t 3 1 , 2 0 0 4 N a m e o f A u t h o r (please print) D a t e ( d d / m m / y y y y ) Ti t le o f T h e s i s : R e i n v e n t i n g S p a c e s / R e o c c u r i n g P laces : A R e - E x a m i n a t i o n o f G r a n d B o u l e v a r d at B o u l e v a r d Park , No r th V a n c o u v e r D e g r e e : M a s t e r o f l a n d s c a p e Arch i tec tu re Year : 2 0 0 4 D e p a r t m e n t o f T h e Univers i ty o f Br i t ish C o l u m b i a V a n c o u v e r , B C C a n a d a L a n d s c a p e Arch i tec tu re ABSTRACT This thesis explores the design issues of place making within the context of a growing city that has a confined/restricted urban boundary. The challenge is to re-utilize urban space (such as existing roads, lot lines and open areas) to design significant spaces for the community at large. These spaces need to meld together existing layout with new and often more densified programs. This multi-layering is a cost effective way for the city to grow and provides a richer, more sustainable environment for its inhabitants. New programs, at the same time, need to recognize the old, historical, and sometime sentimental significance of a place that reverberates within the existing population. The goal is to revitalize the fabric of city-to create vibrant, livable spaces that recognize and enhance the social, historic, sustainable, and economic welfare of a growing city and its inhabitants. Grand Boulevard and Boulevard Park, North Vancouver, British Columbia is one such challenge. Site inventory and analysis provide a platform for evaluating interventions into the cityscape that can maintain the unique and historical infrastructure of Grand Boulevard. A theoretical review of place making, through the ideas of memory and space, defines a design methodology based upon flexible reiterative social spaces for public interaction. The analysis and methodology come together in the design proposal for Grand Boulevard and the adjacent Boulevard Park. The proposal maintains the physical structure of the boulevard and park, while increasing program uses through the incorporation of a community complex and two major promenades. One promenade corresponds to the historic greenway of the Green Necklace which, at this time, the City of North Vancouver is reworking into its city fabric. The other promenade links the civic node of City Hall and Library to the community node of the Grand Boulevard neighbourhood. This design thesis brings together the physical and program structure of Grand Boulevard into a cohesive whole that provides rich spaces that not only can be utilized by the nearby neighbourhood inhabitants but also by the growing population of the City of North Vancouver. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT ii TABLE OF CONTENTS iii LIST OF FIGURES v ACKNOWLEDMENTS vii Chapter 1 PROJECT OVERVIEW AND CONTEXT 1 1.1 Introduction 1 1.2 Thesis Statement of Intent, Project Goals, Objectives and Process 2 1.2.1 Statement of Intent 3 1.2.2 Project Goals 3 1.2.3 Project Objectives 3 1.2.4 Design Objectives 4 Chapter 2 THEORETICAL ORIENTATION 4 2.1 Theoretical Orientation Introduction 4 2.2 A Place into Identity, Into Being Through Memory 4 2.2.1 Introduction 4 2.2.2 Memory and Self 5 2.2.3 Memory and Place 6 2.2.4 Memory and Landscape 7 2.2.5 Conclusion 9 Chapter 3 SITE INVENTORY AND ANALYSIS 9 3.1 Methodology 9 3.2 Site Introduction 9 3.2.1 Site Location 10 3.2.2 Official Community Plan 11 3.2.3 City of North Vancouver Population Projection 12 3.2.4 Site Context 12 3.2.5 Historical Context 14 3.2.6 Site Character 15 3.2.6.1 The View 17 3.2.6.2 Structures 17 3.2.6.3 Scale 18 3.2.6.4 Water Features 18 3.2.6.5 Soil 19 3.2.6.6 Circulation 19 3.2.6.1 Vehicle Circulation 19 3.2.6.2 Pedestrian Circulation 20 3.2.6.3 Bicycle Circulation 20 3.3 Site Analysis and Strategic Assumptions 20 3.3.1 Site Analysis Introduction 20 3.3.2 Large Scale Analysis 22 iii 3.3.2.1 Population and Less Reliance on the Vehicle 22 3.3.2.2 Hierarchical Treatment of Streets 24 3.3.2.3 Suggested Boundary Revision 24 3.3.2.4 Strategic Assumptions 24 3.3.3 Small Scale Analysis 25 3.3.3.1 Strategic Assumptions 26 Chapter 4 A DESIGN PROPOSAL 26 4.1 Introduction 26 4.2 Conceptual Plan 27 4.2.1 Grand Boulevard, 17th to 19th Street 29 4.2.2 Grand Boulevard, 15th to 17th Street 30 4.2.3 Grand Boulevard, 13th to 15th Street 31 4.2.4 Grand Boulevard, 11th to 13th Street 33 4.2.5 Grand Boulevard, 9th to 11th Street 34 4.2.6 Grand Boulevard, Keith Road to 9th Street 35 4.3 Memory and Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park 36 4.3.1 Soccer with a View 36 4.3.2 Sunset Theatre 36 4.3.3 Pedestrian Malls 37 4.3.4 Maple Tree Allee 37 4.3.5 Arbour House 38 4.3.6 Boulevard Terrace 38 4.3.7 Casting Pond 39 4.4 Site Plan Framework 40 4.4.1 Site Plan 43 4.4.1.1 Materials and Motifs 43 4.4.1.2 Boulevard Community House and Arbour House 44 4.4.1.3 Boulevard Terrace 45 4.4.1.4 Casting Pond 45 4.4.1.5 Outdoor Sport Fields and Tot Lot 46 4.4.1.6 Promenades and Walking Trails 46 4.4.1.6.1 East West and North South Promenade 46 4.4.1.6.2 Moody Promenade 47 4.4.1.6.3 Walking Trails 47 4.4.1.7 Picnic with a View 47 Chapter 5 CONCLUSION 49 BIBLIOGRAPHY 51 APPENDIX 53 LIST OF FIGURES Introduction 1. The City of North Vancouver 2 Theoretical Orientation 2. Catalpa Trees in the Late Afternoon 5 3. Flagpole in Grand Boulevard Parkway 6 Inventory and Analysis 4. Location Map, City of North Vancouver and Grand Boulevard 10 5. Site Context, City of North Vancouver 11 6. Site Context, City of North Vancouver, Housing Density and Street System 11 7. Features Along 14th Street 12 8. Site Context, Grand Boulevard 13 9. Grand Boulevard East at 18th Street 14 10. 1906 Aerial Plan of Grand Boulevard 16 11. One of the Many Laurels on the Site 15 12. Grand Boulevard West at 11 th Street 17 13. Grand Boulevard West at 15th Street 17 14. Mass Void Diagram, Lower Grand Boulevard 18 15. Day lighted Stream, Lower Grand Boulevard 18 16. Water Erosion Along/On Grand Boulevard Pedestrian Path 19 17. Typical Treatment of Streets in North Vancouver 21 18. Grand Boulevard Pedestrian Path 20 19. 14th Street Pedestrian, Key Features 23 Design for Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park 20. Conceptual Plan 28 21. Conceptual of Forest and Clearing 30 22. A Mid-Block Pedestrian Ways 31 23. 14th Street Pedestrian 32 24. Defining the Edge with a Fence 35 25. Soccer with a View 36 26. Maple Tree Allee 37 27. Arbour House Precedent 38 28. Site Plan, Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park 54 29. Site Plan, Boulevard Terrace 55 30. Brick Work Precedent, on 15th Street, North Vancouver 43 31. Cast Metal Lamp Precedent, Oak and 37th Avenue, Vancouver 44 32. Brick Detailing for North South Promenade 44 33. Section Elevation, Boulevard Terrace, Looking East 56 34. Section Elevation, Boulevard Terrace, Looking South 56 35. Section Elevation, Boulevard Terrace, Looking North 57 36. Detail Section and Plan, Boulevard Terrace, Pergola 58 V 37. Detail Section, Boulevard Terrace, Entrance Lamp 59 38. Detail Section, Boulevard Terrace, Lamp Post 59 39. Section Elevation, Casting Pond 60 40. Axon, East West Promenade at Moody Promenade 61 41. Sections, Moody Avenue, Looking North 62 42. Section Elevation, Moody Avenue, Looking West 63 vi ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to express my gratitude to my classmates, specifically the 'summer crew' who gave support and encouragement through the long summer of 2004. Best of luck on whatever road you choose to travel. I would also like to thank the members of my thesis committee: To Don Luymes, Assistant Professor, University of British Columbia, Department of Landscape Architecture, thank you for being an excellent guide in the practicalities of landscape design, one who can always respond to a question with a concrete and tangible answer within any landscape context. To Dave Hutch of the City of North Vancouver, Parks and Engineering Department, highly knowledgeable and full of positive enthusiasm, thank you for your time, openness and intuitive comments over the course of the thesis project. And finally, to Doug Paterson, Associate Professor, University of British Columbia, Department of Landscape Architecture, who is a good soul out there, and shares readily his huge body of knowledge. Thank you for taking the time to allow me to gleam some of that knowledge through you eyes and begin to understand the processes from which I design creatively. vii Chapter 1: PROJECT OVERVIEW AND CONTEXT 1.1 Introduction "Any fragment of land, no matter how unobstructed the view across its surface, is inhabited by its cultural or natural history, has been shaped and marked by subtle or dramatic ways, and is occupied by forms of life and processes which register of many scales, macro and micro" (12). "A contribution that landscape recovery brings to situations of apparent emptiness is the idea of reaching outward, across property and ownership boundariesvof the site, to the larger context. [Sabastien] Marot describes this best as 'the calculated capture of surroundings'" (17). Vacancy and the Landscape: Cultural Context and Design Response, Carla Corbin "Ordinary, everyday landscapes are important and worthy of study. At the core... is a straightforward question: How can we better understand ordinary environments as crucibles of cultural meaning and environmental experience" (3). Understanding Ordinary Landscape, Paul Groth The idea is simply about reclaiming lost or partially lost landscape. Cities big and small continually reshape and redefine themselves over time. Population increases and decrees for sustainability and livability, pressure a city to look for ways to re-structure and re-build in order to relieve the pressure and maintain themselves as healthy, viable, and identifiable entities. A part of reclaiming landscape is invention or re-invention-to take that which already exists and through the application of new or improved programs, make something new. The new, in this case, becomes a highly flexible, interactive, vibrant and usable space within the fabric of the city. Reclaiming landscape works on many levels, but the result is to re-actualize a space into physical re-existence. A simple way to do this is to understand and utilize the physical processes within and surrounding a site. This involves such diverse issues as capturing rainfall, increasing and upgrading housing density, or where to maintain green open space within the city infrastructure which all can potentially lead to a set of programs that help to support and redefine the identity of a place. These programs may help to accentuate the physical, social, and environmental attributes of a site that have been hidden from sight. By implementing these new programs, the site can once again become identifiable, usable and recognized as a valuable country, suburb, city or parkscapes. 1 But, reclaiming landscape also involves the cultural, historical, and social contexts that inhabit the minds of the public. Human scaled design in conjunction with the idea of memory in space and place helps to bring in the cultural, historical and social significance of a place tying it to the psyche of those that visit and reside in it. Identity, and therefore ownership, resides in the repetitive revisiting of place either in physical form or in memory. Grand Boulevard, North Vancouver is an anomaly in the fabric of the city of North Vancouver. As such, in a way, it has become an unclaimed landscape for the general public. Those that admire the parkway, are those that live adjacent to this 6 block linear feature. The admiration is built upon the large tract of space open to the expanse of sky and mountains that seems to extend the front lawns of those that live adjacent to the boulevard. It is a boulevard planned in the style of BeaUX-ArtS bOUlevardS Of the early 1900'S Source ( Background image): GIS WebMap, 2003 throughout North America. Historic in character, its open space abounds with a rustic planting of trees. But, the 12.5 hectares (.12 square kilometer or 31 acres) of space lacks the depth of social interaction, sense of gathering energy, and cohesion within the larger city fabric. As such, it is an underutilized space for the inhabitants of North Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver. The city is compact and bounded with a projected population increase of 25% over the next 17 years. Every space, property, roadway is valuable and they all need to work together to support a vibrant, healthy and sustainable city. Grand Boulevard should be no different. The idea is to enliven Grand Boulevard's role in the fabric of North Vancouver. It is to reinstate it as a supportive entity within the confines of the growing city. It is to reclaim it for all inhabitants of North Vancouver while maintaining the physical size and grandeur that Grand Boulevard possesses for local residents. 1.2 Thesis Statement, Goals and Objectives In order to begin a proposal for Grand Boulevard and Boulevard Park, a framework that establishes the goals and objectives must be created. The following section briefly outlines the project and design goals that will help define the site as a social and community hub within the fabric of the City of North Vancouver. Figure 1: The City of North Vancouver and Grand 2 1.2.1 Statement of Intent The Greater Vancouver Regional District reports an expected growth from a 2 million population base today to 3 million by 2029 (GVRD, 2003). How will the urban fabric change, or not change, to accommodate this increase in population? Can the existing infrastructure support added, removed, or improved programs that help build a sense of cohesion and place for the residents? This project will examine such questions. It will focus on the 1906 historic 6-block parkway of Grand Boulevard, North Vancouver, and the adjacent piece of parkland, Boulevard Park. The design will speculate upon a possible higher-density urban future that can support the atypical physical scale of Grand Boulevard while improving amenities for the public at large, within this site, for the City of North Vancouver. The scale of this parkway can be maintained to not only enhance its sense of place, but also support the larger whole of North Vancouver. Careful programming of the site and on the adjacent park will enhance the physical and program attributes of the boulevard, making it a place for the community to walk, run, bike, rollerblade, dance, gather, picnic, talk, eat, watch, sit and play. 1.2.2 Project Goal The goal of this project is to investigate and develop a sustainable, human-scaled revitalization strategy and design for the underutilized public open space of Grand Boulevard and Boulevard Park, North Vancouver. The programs and interventions within the design project will interweave itself into the strengthening fabric of North Vancouver. It will be a place that the City of North Vancouver can use as a jewel on their grand pedestrian Green Necklace, and the residents of Grand Boulevard, as a central social and community neighbourhood hub. 1.2.3 Project Objectives The project objectives are: (1) To build upon the exiting social and historical framework associated with Grand Boulevard, (2) To develop a strategy to maintain and integrate Grand Boulevard into the growing fabric of North Vancouver; (3) To look for strategies to expose the natural processes and unique character of Grand Boulevard to the public as a part of the fabric of the City of North Vancouver; (4) To develop a vibrant, flexible interactive set of programs and community spaces unique to Grand Boulevard and Boulevard Park that support this site as a community hub. 3 1.2.4 Design Objectives The design objectives are specific to Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park. The goal is to enhance the social, ecological, and economic opportunities that can exist on Grand Boulevard while defining the site as a unique and vibrant character within the fabric of North Vancouver. The design objectives are: (1) To enhance the readability of Grand Boulevard through edge and volume definition; (2) To utilize, refine and strengthen natural features and attributes of the boulevard for public use and enjoyment; (3) To apply green intervention in the landscape that will be in line with the sustainable mandate of the 2004 Official Community Plan; (4) To provide flexible site specific programs that enhance Grand Boulevard as a unique community hub within the network of the City of North Vancouver. Chapter 2 THEORETICAL ORIENTATION 2.1 Theoretical Orientation Introduction Communities are built one member at a time. Landscape can aid the process through the link that exist between memory and place. Memories are created through the physical, cultural, and social experience of a site. When the experience echoes within ourselves, a place becomes significant and we take ownership of the place. Collective place ownership builds community. Design work should take into account the ideas surrounding memory and place by constructing human scaled spaces that are touchable and tangible to the human body and experience. Through the spatial delineation of landscape and its relationship to the body, a space is created that encourages a place identity and ownership by the community at large. 2.2 A Place into Identity, into Being Through Memory 2.2.1 Introduction Place is a function of memory. Our sense of place is defined by the experiential qualities of a site. The act of remembering, and memory itself, is built upon the phenomenological idea where our human senses and emotions tie us into a place. The idea of memory and how it relates to place making is the focus of this examination of place making within the city. Our goal as a designer, as Phillip Hicks states, "is to activate the emotional content inherent in the materials and elements being used, exploiting to the fullest extent their essential nature" (27). This in turn helps us to relate to a site through our bodies and our own thoughts and memories. 2.2.2 Memory and Self "'Cities also believe they are the work of the mind or of chance, but neither the one nor the other suffices to hold up their walls. You take delight not in a city's seven or seventy wonders, but in the answer it gives to a question of yours"' (44). Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino Collecting objects is a curious past time. Their existence in our lives defines a place and time, acting as small reminders of a certain event or person. Even dedicated doll collectors associate a place and/or time with the acquisition of a specific doll. We use a framework of memories to connect ourselves to the world through our objects. J.B. Jackson in The Necessity for Ruins summarizes this act with, "[w]e admire and try to collect things not so much for their beauty or value as for their association with a phase of our past" (89). Personal photographs are no different. They too act as little collections, little signs of what was seen, what was experienced. For instance, photographs of friends and relatives are not so much about the wish to capture the physicality of a person. But rather, these pictures are a reminder (a memory) of a tie through friendship or blood relationship of a time spent together. These objects have meaning specific to an individual. In another form, landscapes can act in the same way, reminding us of the bonds that exist between the landscape and ourselves. Take for example, the photograph in figure 2. On one level, it is about the beauty of light flooding through the canopy of the trees. As such, the aesthetic appeals to most. But, on the personal level, the level of self, it reminds me (the photographer) about how I had to stand in the middle of the road to get the picture, how I was on my way home after a shopping trip, camera in hand. But, the memory does not stop there. It also speaks to me of the way home to my physical house and the comfort of being home; the wonder of the leaves of the tulip trees and catalpa trees further along-how they will change with spring and the mess they make, when they finally fall in the early winter, with mounds of leaves on the roadside. What brings significance to photographs, to specific objects, are the memories that are activated by them. Figure 2: Tulip trees in the late afternoon 5 The American Dictionary defines memory as "[t]he metal faculty of retaining and recalling past experience" (819). The act of remembering, to recall a memory, brings the past to the present and through the two, there is significance to everyday being. "We tend to think of memory as the possession of an individual ego, but it is perhaps more accurate to [say] that the individual ego is remembered-or lives-because of the.. .forces of...memory" (Kuberski, 132). Through the significance of remembering, of associating an experience with a space, place is linked with the individual; place "is something that we ourselves create in the course of time" (Jackson, 1994,151). 2.2.3 Memory and Place Place as defined by Fritz Steel is physical setting combined with social setting as filtered by personal experience (Paterson, 2003). Through the experience of our bodies moving through a site, we create a sense of place that is built upon the social interactions that occur in that place and by the memories that we carry with us. The significance of place begins with a location where the individual establishes a physical and, by default, mental link to the site. Take for example figure 3, Grand Boulevard Parkway, North Vancouver, British Columbia. It is a nondescript park containing one really strong vertical element within its largely horizontal grassed landscape that covers 6 blocks. The vertical element is a flagpole located in the third block, north to south, and it rises out of flat landscape to act as a sort of emasculated axis mundi for the immediate residents and park users. One orientates against the vertical element and, in this way, the flagpole imbues itself as a memory into the consciousness of the park users. Edward Casey states, "[p]laces are empowered by the lived bodies that occupy them with directionality, level, and distance-all of which serve as essential anchoring points in the remembering of place". As such, "the body imports its own implaced past into its present experience: its "local history" is literally a history of locales" (Casey, 194). Where the flagpole of Grand Boulevard Park may not necessarily create a strong sense of place, it does begin the process by being an object that helps to define this parkway as separate from any other. Individuals can identify, relate to and scale themselves against the flagpole, 6 defining and creating order in the landscape around them through their memory of the flagpole, their driving by it, walking near it, sharing a talk with someone as they pass by it. But, unfortunately, the relationship between the flagpole and the individual is only one dimensional in the boulevard landscape. Place anchors us. It holds the mind and the body in space that is identifiable and reorientates. Casey defines the situation as "[t]o be in a place is to be sheltered and sustained by its containing boundary; it is to be held within this boundary rather than to be dispersed by an expanding horizon of time or to be exposed indifferently in space" (Casey, 186). Jackson further expands on the idea of place and its relationship to the human psyche with, "[i][t is our sense of time, our sense of ritual, which in the long run creates our sense of place, and of community. In our urban environment which is constantly undergoing irreversible changes, a cyclical sense of time, the regular recurrence of events and celebrations, is what gives us reassurance and a sense of unity and continuity" (1994, 160). To return to the image of the tulip trees, they not only recall the physical relationship, the 'I was there' statement, but they also speak of a place to me and how it ties into my understanding of this specific site-how I move through it, how I experience the trees and their leaves in different seasons and how it is linked with the idea of the comfort of home and that journey home. And this is reinforced weekly through repetition as I continue to travel down the same path weekly, monthly, yearly. "[The] intimate relationship between memory and place...is through the lived body"(189), Casey continues, "each calls for each other" (214). Memory is an important component of place. It is the reiteration of a space as it is re-experienced in the present that reaffirms identity and gives structure and comfort. "As much as body or brain, mind or language, place is a keeper of memories-one of the main ways by which the past comes to be secured in the present, held in things before us and around us" (Casey, 213). 2.2.4 Memory and Landscape "As this wave from memories flows in, the city soaks up like a sponge and expands. A description of Zaira as it is today should contain all Zaira's past. The city, however, does not tell its past, but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corner of street, the gratings of windows, the banister of steps...every segment marked in turn with scratches, indentations, scrolls." (10) Invisible Cities, Italo Calvino Landscape exists everywhere around us. But, not all landscapes have a sense of place. Some create their own place, strictly through their natural attributes, while other landscapes must work upon the relationship between nature and man 7 to build a sense of place. In urban landscapes, the sense of place tends to be unsuccessful despite the intrinsic physical connection that man has to the urban setting. The proximity to and living within the urban landscape should make the landscape highly suitable to be significant places in our memories and existence. "To be human", Relph writes, "is to live in a world that is filled with significant places" (1). But, many urban landscapes fail to meet the experiential needs of humans and in this way they fail to create place. For instance, the aforementioned flagpole of Grand Boulevard Parkway may have a patriotic connotation (and therefore may drum up civic pride) and it does exist as a locale (having been situated in this specific area). However, its role seems to largely have become an orientating pole within a generally featureless landscape. There is no sense of place surrounding the flagpole or for the rest of the park, for that matter. It fails to build itself as a place even though on some level the flag pole and its location exist within the consciousness of the park users. It does not, as Casey states, "possess us-in perception...in memory-by [its] radiant visibility, insinuating [itself] into our lives, seizing and surrounding us, even taking us over as we sink into [its] presence" (Casey, 200). Through the understanding of how memory plays a role in place making, urban landscapes can be transformed into place. Memory and its intimate relationship with the body, fosters a means of dwelling in the landscape. It links the individual to the site through past and present experiences of sight, sound, smell, feel or even taste. For "places may be rooted in the physical setting and objects and activities, but they are not a property of them-rather they are a property of human intentions and experience" (Relph, 47). Therefore, the design of any site should take into account the human experience, the body moving and interacting with the site, the objects that exist in it and that make it up. "To some extent these materials and objects acquire their power by association and conditioning, dating from experiences in our formative years. So that whenever we again come into contact with that particular form, texture, fragrance, sound, sensation of light or space and so on, old memories come flooding back" (Hicks, 25). It is not solely a question of the physical attributes, but is also about the richness of place that draws the human senses in and separates a landscape from the rest. It "entails having been slowed down, stopped, or in some other way caught-in-place" (Casey, 198). It is the "largely unselfconsciousness intentionality that defines places as profound centers of human existence" (Relph, 43). In addition, designing a place through memory creates bonds. These bonds are a relationship between the individual and the landscape. If a place is strong enough, many individuals relate to it. This establishes a place inhabited by a community, whose members will in turn share memories between/with each other, building a stronger sense of place in community. "A landscape should 8 establish bonds between people, the bond of language, of manners, of the same kind of work and leisure, and above all a landscape should contain the kind of spatial organization which fosters such experiences and relationships" (Jackson, 1980, 16). 2.2.5 Conclusion Places become significant through our experience of them. Experience in turn creates our memories. Memories return us to significant places and allow us to recognize them and inhabit them. This cycle is important in the design of sites. By taking into account the importance of memory making and how that is intimately linked to the human body and its sense, landscapes can become very significant places, rich in detail, rich in people, rich in community. Chapter 3: SITE INVENTORY AND ANALYSIS 3.1 Methodology To understand a landscape involves a study of the site and the environs that it sits within. It is inventory and analysis. Inventory is the simple cataloging of the components that make up the site, give it its physical character and deposition. It also is the understanding of how the site works, how it fits into the psyche of the user/viewer. Analysis, on the other hand, takes the inventory, distills it and looks for possibilities and constraints for the site. The process of the two, gives the designer a way to enter into the site and begins laying the foundation for an appropriate interventions suitable to the site. It also brings forth design ideas that can make the site more readily understandable to the users and thus allow it to be more readily claimed by the general population. As Corbin states, "[wjithout a visible, understandable function, land is difficult to manage and classify" (16), and therefore difficult to identify with and inhabit. Grand Boulevard is no different. In a way, it is unclaimed land sitting within the fabric of a very vibrant city. What brought forth Grand Boulevard? How is it used today? How can it be used tomorrow in ways that support the vibrancy and community of the city? How can it be visually classified or managed to make it a part of not only the vibrancy of North Vancouver, but also become vivid within the minds of those that use and experience the site? The methodology of the thesis begins in site inventory. From the data gathered, an analysis of the city of North Vancouver and of Grand Boulevard provides a way to maintain the unique physical scale of Grand Boulevard within the changing and intricate fabric of North Vancouver. Site inventory and analysis come together with the theoretical approach of memory and place to produce the design proposal. 3.2 Site Introduction 9 A study of Grand Boulevard begins in a study of the city of North Vancouver. The city is a social, economic, and ecological animal that imparts attributes of itself to its spaces that reside within it. Understanding how the city works starts the process of understanding how Grand Boulevard works. Grand Boulevard, on the other hand, although an aspect of the larger city of North Vancouver, is an entity in itself. It has its own set of characteristics that make the boulevard what it is. As a result, it too imparts its qualities, in this case, into the fabric of the city. The two are linked intimately together. Christopher Alexander put it best in A Pattern Language with : "..no pattern is an isolated entity. Each pattern can exist in the world, only to the extent that is supported by other patterns: the larger patterns in which it is embedded, the patterns of the same size that surround it, and the smaller patterns which are embedded in it" (xii). Thus, by understanding both North Vancouver and Grand Boulevard, a more sensitive and logical design for Grand Boulevard can be created, enhancing the fabric of the city and the well-being of North Vancouver. 3.2.1 Site Location The City of North Vancouver sits on the northern shores of Burrard Inlet, just north of Vancouver, British Columbia (figure 4). North Vancouver is a typical urbanized city, laid out in a grid system (figure 5), covering an area of 11.95 square kilometers (km2), compared to 115 km 2 for the city of Vancouver. It is bordered to the north by low mountains and to the east and west by two well-defined riparian systems, Mosquito and Lynn Creek. Figure 4: Location Map, City of North Vancouver and Grand Boulevard The city itself sits on a well-defined slope reaching north to the mountains with south facing hillside slopes offering spectacular views to the Burrard Inlet and the city of Vancouver to the south. It receives on average an annual rainfall of 1750 mm (69 in). 10 Skirting the north and east edge of the city, the Upper Levels Highway provides the largest transportation link into the city and beyond, with arterial entrances at Lonsdale Avenue, Lynn Valley Road, and Cotton/Keith Road (figure 6). Other arterial entrances are Marine Drive on the west and Keith Road and 3rd Street on the east side of the city. Zoning runs the gamut from industrial to commercial/retail; single family residential, low density units, to high density, high rise units. The District of North Vancouver surrounds the city and at times the boundary between the two, in light of natural and man-made boundaries seems illogical, as is the case, for part of the area near Grand Boulevard, the study area. (Note large white space to right of Grand Boulevard (figure 5 and 6), managed by the District of North Vancouver.) The area essentially contains the same residential zoning and the same grid like fabric of the city, but is a separate jurisdiction (on paper) from the City of North Vancouver. Figure 5: Site Context, City of North Vancouver Source ( Background image): GIS WebMap, 2003 3.2.2 Official Community Plan The City of North Vancouver's commitment to sustainable growth is reflected in their 2004 Official Community Plan(OCP). Just having undergone a review, the OCP has existed since 1980. The 2004 OCP is the 3rd review initiated by the City to help manage their growth and prosperity. Lynn Valley Road High Density Medium Density Major Vehicle Circulation Figure 6: Site Context, City of North Vancouver Housing Density and Street System Source (Background image): GIS WebMap, 2003 11 As stated by OCP, North Vancouver is built around the north south central axis of Lonsdale Avenue (figure 6). Highest density is placed along the linear core with a minor east west axes along Keith Road at Victoria Park, 3rd Street and Esplanade, near Lonsdale Quay. There is a gradient reduction in density as one moves away from Lonsdale. (CNV, 2002) Lonsdale Avenue itself, especially above Keith Road, is deemed the heart of the city being the commercial/retail core/corridor. Just off it are municipal buildings at 14th Street and significant cultural and recreational centers at 24th Street. The other self defining entity that is a big part of the fabric and consciousness of North Vancouver is the Lions Gate Hospital which sits over 14th Avenue between St. George's and St. Andrew's Street (figure 7). The area surrounding the _„_ ..v design site of Grand Boulevard c,ty Haii/ubrary J s • c i \f$\1 i r i ~v^/,T=/RCMP remains as low-density single-family residential units. 3.2.3 City of North Vancouver Population Projection From the 2001 Census, Statistics Canada reports that the population residing within the City of North Vancouver was 44,303, making its population density 3,706 individuals per km 2 (2004). For comparison, the District of North Vancouver and the City of Vancouver had a population density of 512 and 4,759/km2, respectively. By 2021, Statistics Canada further projects that the City of North Vancouver will carry a population of 55,400, giving it a population density of 4,636/km2 which is not that far off of that of the City of Vancouver in 2001 (2004). This is a 25% increase in population over 17 years. The projected maximum density for this small city is 62,000 (CNV, 2002). 3.2.4 Site Context Grand Boulevard is a linear series of 6 blocks running north south, each block measures approximately 200 meters (m) long. It consists of a 70 m median and a 9 to 11 m wide vehicle lane on the east and west side of the central median (figure 8). There is a 55 m change in grade between the foot of the boulevard and its top. Except for the western edge of the segment between 13th and 15th, that butts up against Boulevard Park, Grand Boulevard is totally set into a low Source ( Background image): GIS WebMap, 2003 12 To Greenwood Park 19th Street City of No 15th Street 14th Street 13th BrdcfKsbank School 1 District of North Vancouver Keith Road 7th Street TTT LLLLID m DJTiiiBiiT iiriffiiins] mm 8 jnnji'i nmmmvmmmn mum I I r r ! L a s S J Q E g p O T S M I ] ChiefPJa^TfTTnj . : J U H I T C H TOPS S f f i o d y v i l l e Park Figure 8: Context Map, Grand Boulevard 13 density residential zone. The nearest retail amenity exists about a block off Grand Boulevard at lower Queensbury and 7th Street. Grand Boulevard East is seen and used as a major north south arterial for movement to and from Lynn Valley (figure 9). It consists of 2 traffic lanes (one way each) with parking on the east edge. A curb and sidewalk generally exist on the eastern residential edge of the boulevard, but not so much so for the western edge, abutting the median of Grand Boulevard. Although Grand Boulevard West has the same dedicated width as Grand Boulevard East, it is generally used only as a minor vehicle thoroughfare. In most cases, Grand Boulevard West is curbed and sidewalked on the residential side of the boulevard but generally not so on the median edge. The median or parkway is 75 to 80% lawn grass, 15 to 18% trees, and the remainder bed plantings at key corners of Grand Boulevard. In general, except for the row of cherry trees on the south west bottom of the boulevard and the inconsistent double row of laurels throughout, there seems to be a shot gun approach to the planting of the trees on the median. The median's tree planting is best described as rustic in nature (figure 9). There exists, on the parkway, some very spectacular old specimen trees rarely seen in highly urbanized areas. Figure 9: Grand Boulevard East at 18th Street. Typical planting style of trees. 3.2.5 Historical Context Grand Boulevard is a historical remnant from the 1906 city plan for North Vancouver. It was designed as part of the greenbelt network for North Vancouver called the Green Necklace, fashioned after Frederick Law Olmstead's Emerald Necklace of Boston, Massachusetts. As a segment of the Green Necklace plan, Grand Boulevard was to function as a part of the verdant, rejuvenating lungs for the city and hopefully as a social promenade for the populace. The boulevard's component streets and parkway take their structure and size from the housing development plan for the area. Owned, at the time, by North Vancouver Land and Import Company, the land was slated for high-income single-family estate properties and what better way to attract clientele than 14 through the sweeping swath of Grand Boulevard, described as the Champs Elysees of Vancouver (Figure 10, following page). To maintain the scale and grandeur of the boulevard, purchased properties came with a list of restrictions that included set back conditions and building requirements to preserve the look, feel and property value of the area. These conditions included 30 foot (9.1 m) set backs, a minimal monetary value as applied to the building of the single family residential units (to maintain the quality of the neighbourhood), as well as no fences or hedges over 4 feet (1.2 m). These conditions persisted until the late 1940s. As reported by Robert Lemon and Judy Oberlander, the sale of homes in the area was never brisk (32). Few lots, mainly comer lots, had been sold by 1910. An economic recession leading up to World War I and II further impeded sales. Thus, Grand Boulevard did not have a full set of developed residential buildings until after World War II. Housing styles are reflective of the times that the homes were built. Like a true boulevard designed for multiple uses, Grand Boulevard was also a part of the 1906 streetcar system, linking individuals from Vancouver and North Vancouver to Lynn Valley. The streetcars, on this line, were in use till April, 1947 when the line was discontinued. Images from the North Vancouver Museum and Archives show the streetcar line bisecting the Grand Boulevard median and edged on each .„ _ ril_ , . „ , — , Figure 11: One of the many laurels on the site side by a hedge of laurels. The laurels persist to today, where they are seen as the inconsistent double row of rounded shrubs dotting the boulevard parkway (figure 11). 3.2.6 Site Character As a function of the historical infrastructure laid out for Grand Boulevard in 1906 and its accompanying conditions for residential lots on each side of the boulevard, the site character is somewhat unusual against the rest of the fabric of North Vancouver. The boulevard itself, with its large central open parkway is largely atypical of North Vancouver's finer grained, more intimate, semi enclosed spaces. The physical layout and size of Grand Boulevard set against the existing fabric of the city is one factor that gives this site its character. 15 ler Prices, Maps of Actual Survey «l Property and Particulars, apply to O F P C I A L A G E N T S F O R M A H O N , M c F A R L A N D & M A H O N , L t d . Lty. T h e N o r t h V a n c . u v e r L a n d «n<i I m p r o v e m e n t C o r . S e y m o u r a n d P e n d e r S t s . , V A N C O U V E R , B . C . C o n p a n y , L t d . L t y . S3J0V zA£t fes "ijpj pue pjeA9|noa "eajv ibioi ««j ibv r t j m c "X-rr-d ifuruKJlpv wuj 9»C 'WIHM a a v A B i n o a a NVHO J O SNOISNBIAIIQ Figure 10: 1906 Aerial Plan of Grand Boulevard 16 3.2.6.1 Views Because of the lack of intense tree cover over the 12.5 hectare (31 acre) site, as well as the sloping nature of the site, there exist incredible vistas in almost every direction, to the North Shore Mountains, the mountains to the east, Vancouver, Lions Gate Bridge and Stanley Park (figure 12 and 13). These Figure 12: Grand Boulevard West at 11th Street, view to Vancouver, looking south vistas can be further enhanced by careful design accenting these key points within the structure of Grand Boulevard. 3.2.6.2 Structures Figure 13: Grand Boulevard West at 15th Street, View to Vancouver and Stanley Park, looking northwest. two kid play areas and a gravel parking lot. There are few built structures within the Grand Boulevard parkway. They include random benches, a bus shelter, a flagpole and a large ground level concrete chest board, remnant of some past use. Boulevard Park on the other hand, holds a soccer field and house, four full size tennis courts, a half size tennis court with backboard, a half size basketball court, 4 bocce courts, bathrooms, With regard to housing units and their styles, they reflect the designs of the times in which they were built. The five categories of styles as reported by Lemon and Oberlander, are Tudor Revival, Shingle, Craftsman, and World War II Bungalows, and more recently, a few large modern block-style houses (42). Generally, home heights are 1 to 1 1/2 stories with roof types that are generally slanting, but predominately gabled or hipped (Lemon and Oberlander, 38). Lot sizes are predominately 52 feet (15.9 m) by 150 feet (45.7m). Houses along the east edge have a lower market value than those on the west edge of the boulevard. This is due to the increased traffic that runs along the east edge, to and from Lynn Canyon. However, typically any house on Grand Boulevard goes for more than those listed just off of the boulevard itself, even houses with the 17 same lot sizes. The higher cost of housing on Grand Boulevard is due to the physical characteristics of the boulevard and its relationship to the residential building masses. The green, open characteristic of the boulevard extends the open space that begins at the front of the residential units, extending their front yards over the expanse of the boulevard. 3.2.6.3 Scale , The mass-void diagram shown in figure 14 illustrates the lower half of Grand Boulevard as it sits within single-family residential zoning. What is evident is the scale of Grand Boulevard against the backdrop of the fabric of the adjacent low-density residential area. Grand Boulevard is a very large-scale structure within the fine-grained structure of the surrounding area. In addition, the mass-void displays the amount of open space in the area verses single family building footprints. All single-family residential units either on or just off Grand Boulevard have some form of a large yard. This, in a way, makes the open space of Grand Boulevard redundant and un-useful by the general public that lives in the area who can already play and garden in their own backyards. "in" i; • ./» • • • MM'-V i m , iV-' i t * Figure 14: Mass Void Diagram, Lower Grand Boulevard 3.2.6.4 Water Features In the lower southeast corner block of Grand Boulevard adjacent to Keith Road, there is a day lighted non-salmon bearing stream (figure 15). It takes its water from the storm system that runs on the east side of Grand Boulevard. This water seems to originate from the residential area to the north east of Grand Boulevard, and perhaps represents a small diversion from Keith Stream, since it runs almost all year. Figure 15: Day Lighted Stream, Lower Grand Boulevard Water can also be heard running in the storm drains higher along Grand Boulevard that are not specifically attached to the one that feed the day lighted stream at Keith and Grand Boulevard East. 18 3.2.6.5 Soil H. Luttmerding in Soils of the Langley-Vancouver Map Area indicates that the site consists of Capilano Soils (49 and Map 10). Made up of glacial, fluvial and deltaic deposits, these soils tend to have good to rapid drainage. Soil type is a ferro-humic podzol. Subsoils are usually sandy. As evidenced by site visits, this soil type has moderate to excessive stoniness. Despite the classification, site visits revealed several large areas that were seen holding a good amount of moisture. Water retention was noted on the third, fourth, fifth and sixth blocks of Grand Boulevard, north to south (figure 16). Also evident was the presence of mosses which often were a part of the lawn matrix of the area. In some cases, water channels have been naturally cut into the gravel pedestrian walkway during storm events. Other indicators of standing water are recently planted willows (Salix sp.) that will help take up some of the excess moisture found in the parkway. 3.2.6 Circulation There are three main circulation patterns that run along or within Grand Boulevard. They are vehicle, including transit, pedestrian and bicycle Figure 16: Water Erosion Along/On Grand Boulevard Pedestrian Path 3.2.6.1 Vehicle Circulation Where Grand Boulevard facilitates vehicle movement north and south, to and from Lynn Canyon; Keith Road, 13th, 15th and 19th help movement in the east and west direction. Grand Boulevard East and intersecting streets such as Keith Road and 13th Street and to some extents 15th and 19th Street are major arterial thoroughfares through North Vancouver (refer to figure 6). These arterials are generally wide single lanes of traffic in each direction with parking on each side. With the exception of Keith Road, 13th, 15th, 19th street and Grand Boulevard East and West, all other streets act as residential streets. Bus service occurs along Grand Boulevard with requisite bus stops. Of notice is one bus depot at 15th and Grand Boulevard. It possesses no pull in and is part of the parking lane. 19 For the whole of North Vancouver, there is a general lack of differentiation between street types in North Vancouver. Images shown below (figure 17, following page) display the same scale and treatment of roadway whether they be in a commercial or residential area. Residential streets should be narrowed and the right of way used to plant more street trees to mitigate pollution and improve character of the streetscape. Arterial Streets should also have a defined character. As of this time, Grand Boulevard has no street tree plantings or other physical amendment that defines it as a boulevard and major arterial for the city. 3.2.6.2 Pedestrian Circulation As previously mentioned, Grand Boulevard is part of the Green Necklace envisioned by the city planners of the early 1900's. At present, the City of North Vancouver is bringing this program back into the fabric of the city. Grand Boulevard is one of the segments of this historic walk. Presently, it has a gravel walkway, running north south, bisecting it the boulevard in half (figure 18). Amenities immediately along this walkway include 'doggie bag' posts and a ground level chest board. As noted previously, heavy rains have cut channels into the walkway and these are seen especially in the lower three blocks from 13th to Keith Road. Benches are usually not immediately adjacent to the pedestrian thoroughfare and are placed, at random, throughout the parkway. Figure 18: Grand Boulevard Pedestrian Path 3.2.6.3 Bicycle Circulation At this time, there is no dedicated bike thoroughfare for the Grand Boulevard area. Although, there are proposed ones as shown in the City of North Vancouver's Bicycle Master Plan. (District of North Vancouver, 2003) 3.3 Site Analysis and Strategic Assumptions 3.3.1 Site Analysis Introduction Grand Boulevard is a highly valuable piece of property sitting within the fabric of North Vancouver. Its scale in relationship to the surrounding landscape make it stand out, but there is not a significant set of programs to make the boulevard stand up to take its rightful place within the landscape of the city. For instance the already accessible large yards adjacent to the neighbourhood homes make the area of Grand Boulevard and its parkway redundant in its present form. Therefore, Grand Boulevard does not physically, or psychologically build nor 20 Figure 17: Typical Treatment of Streets in North Vancouver. a-Third Street near Lonsdale, commercial, b-Lonsdale, commercial, c-Keith Road, residential, d-17th Street, residential 21 interweave itself into the fabric of the city or into the psyche of the population of North Vancouver. If the site were re-zoned to accommodate for single-family housing units, it would be a large monetary windfall for the city and could be designed without the loss of the existing site programs of a green walk, beautifully vehicle orientated seasonal plantings, large rustic trees and benches to sit in the sun and enjoy the view. But, there are other ways to reap the value of the open space of Grand Boulevard that maintains its physical structure and gives more opportunities for the community to use and enjoy the site. As Carta Corbin states "[i]n common culture, land tends to be valued in one of two ways-aesthetic appeal or function and productivity" (15). But, land need not be one or the other. "Instead of comprising elements serving only one function, a design that can accommodate many functions is both economical and enriching of social space" (Wall, 245). It is the hope that the following design interweaves function and aesthetic into the space of Grand Boulevard, one that will support the growing population of the city and utilize the place of Grand Boulevard as a community building space. The following analysis is broken up into large scale and small scale factors. Large scale analysis looks at the whole of North Vancouver in order to find ways to support the structure of Grand Boulevard. Small scale analysis looks at the site specifically for opportunities to enhance its identity and legibility in the neighbourhood and in the city. 3.3.2 Large Scale Analysis The population increase of 25% by the year of 2021 is one of the major issues that the City of North Vancouver must contend with. Where will the increase density occur? The city itself is physically constrained. Therefore, the City of North Vancouver is and will be re-urbanizing its cityscape to accommodate the increase by looking for ways to make the city open spaces more productive and beneficial to its inhabitants. 3.3.2.1 Population and Less Reliance on the Vehicle Population increase translates into more vehicles on the roadways. With regards to reducing vehicle dependence, the following should be considered. The city of North Vancouver sits on a definite slope. The grid system that the city is laid out on makes it highly permeable for vehicles and pedestrian alike. However, the slope is a factor that restricts the easy and sustainable movement of pedestrians and bikes throughout the city. To facilitate these types of movements throughout the city, mass transit lines should be designed to move pedestrians and bikes readily in the north south direction, against the slope. Lonsdale and Grand Boulevard could be such key streets. Having mass transit against the slope 22 would facilitate easy movement by pedestrians and bikes along the slope, in the east and west direction, where people will be more inclined to walk or bike. These pedestrian ways and bikeways can become major green malls through the city enhancing the livability of each area. 14th Street is one such significant street (figure 19). Along it are located government offices, library, police and Lions Gate Hospital. It is already somewhat constricted for vehicle traffic flow, but pedestrian movement and bicycle movement can still flow freely along this street. There is the exception of the Lions Gate Hospital city block between St. George and St. Andrew where there is no pedestrian movement along the 14th Street axis. However, future development of the hospital can hopefully accommodate a pedestrian mall along the 14th Street axis that will allow the axis to extend to Grand Boulevard and beyond. Figure 19! 14th Street Pedestrian, Key Features Increased housing density could be located along this spine to accommodate a portion of the city's projected population increase. If three to four story medium density housing where to occupy the blocks between St. Andrew to Moody Avenue, it could hold a possible 1600 additional individuals or approximately 15% of the projected population. In addition, if the new units could be assessed an additional $1000 improvement fee, it would result in approximately $576,000, above what is standard and could be applied towards improvements on Grand Boulevard and to the pedestrian way along 14th Street. This will support 14th Street as a pedestrian mall that extends from City Hall to Grand Boulevard, with an easy access to Lonsdale, the commercial/retail corridor. Creating the pedestrian mall will reduce the reliance upon vehicles for this area. This is a logical and natural arrangement. The higher density goes 23 with the commercial corridor; the nodes of City Hall and Grand Boulevard act as two anchors existing in the fabric of the city that support the pedestrian spine of 14th Street. Where City Hall acts as a civic node/anchor, Grand Boulevard, as counterpoint, acts as a residential/community node. 3.3.2.2 Hierarchical Treatment of Streets Although North Vancouver remains highly permeable due to its grided nature, way finding within the city can be improved through street tree enhancement. Street widths, street tree planting, border planting, and traffic calming measures should speak of the hierarchical nature of the various circulation pathways from vehicular to pedestrian to bikeway. This treatment helps with way finding and character definition of the area and enhances the livability and sustainability of the North Vancouver. A hierarchical treatment of streets from pedestrian dominated greenway, to residential roads, collector, to arterial should be created for the city of North Vancouver to improve the legibility and character of the city. 3.3.2.3 Suggested Boundary Revisions Although the boundary between the City of North Vancouver and the District of North Vancouver may have been logical in the past, the large man-made intervention of Upper Levels Highway, no longer makes it so. In the case of Grand Boulevard, the District of North Vancouver has jurisdiction over a chunk that seems to take a bite right out of the neighbourhood of Grand Boulevard (figure 5 and 6). Neighbourhood cohesion could be strengthened by allowing that bite to become part of the City of North Vancouver. These boundaries become more logical, creating a stronger whole for the neighbourhood of Grand Boulevard and for the City of North Vancouver. 3.3.2.4 Strategic Assumptions: 1) Densification will occur and should occur along strategic locations of arterial roadways; 2) Way finding within the city can be improved through a designated hierarchical system of streets and sidewalks and their delineation; 3) City and neighbourhood edges should be redrawn to create a stronger system of center and wholes for each neighbourhood. These assumptions support the revitalization of Grand Boulevard without the lost of its existing physical linear body. The first assumption allows the city to create a logical network that will link to Grand Boulevard. Increased revenue from the densification of the area will provide the funds to support Grand Boulevard's structure and new amenities. The second assumption, street treatment, breaks down the cityscape into further human sized pieces that help with way finding 24 and character of the area. The definition along, and of streets help to bind communities and identify them into a manageable scale. Finally, redrawing the cities edge, especially near Grand Boulevard creates a stronger center for the North Vancouver neighbourhood of Grand Boulevard, and in the long run for the City of North Vancouver as well. 3.3.3 Small Scale Analysis The physical size of Grand Boulevard, its relationship to the historical past, and its linearity are its greatest attributes within the fabric of North Vancouver. The attribute is weakened by the lack of physical definition. The boulevard exists as a large planar feature, unremarkable and therefore unidentifiable except as a large open space. The random nature of large trees and park plants do not enhance the quality of the parkway. Although the main program for the boulevard is to simply walk through the park, there is no coherent relationship that exists between the trees, shrubs and plantings to the major pedestrian trail. In fact, in the case of the seasonal plantings that add color and vibrancy to the park, they are located not for pedestrian enjoyment, but, rather mainly for the enjoyment of the passing vehicle traffic. Take for example, the flowerbed planting that encircles the flagpole shown earlier in figure 3. There is no strong relationship with the pedestrian thoroughfare and the planting bed. In fact, a stronger relationship exists between the roadway of Grand Boulevard West and the flowerbed, then with the pedestrian way, simply due to their adjacency in distance. Therefore, the pedestrian is denied the ability to enjoy the planting to the fullest, since they are removed from being able to pass by and enjoy the flowers on an intimate and human scale. The favoring of the vehicle traffic for placement of plant beds reoccurs with the distribution of flowerbeds that face outward to key intersections along the boulevard, rather than inward toward the pedestrian thoroughfare. This stance does not draw people into the park, but rather maintains the boulevard as a place in passing. Considering that the maintenance cost for Grand Boulevard in 2003 was $152,000, with over $31,000 to the flowerbeds and $34,0001 to just maintain the lawn, Grand Boulevard should be more than just a passive space or space to pass. As stated earlier, amenities associated with the parkway and Boulevard Park are few and one-dimensional. Grand Boulevard simply has the pedestrian trail and benches. Boulevard Park, on the other hand, provides areas for physical activities and viewing, such as soccer, tot lot and viewing deck over the bathrooms. But, the rest of the open space is again considered passive open space and is redundant against the adjoining Grand Boulevard. 1 Figures from Al Moore, City of North Vancouver 25 To make the area more viable and sustainable, the design of Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park should include many more programs that are suitable for the site and neighbourhood. For example, the large trees, the view, and the day lighted water feature should be utilized as part of the programming for the site. These features can connect people to the natural processes that are all to invisible in a city setting. Other program interventions can build from this base and provide other amenities that support the neighbourhood and city. It is not necessarily an issue of filling all the passive and natural open spaces of Grand Boulevard and Boulevard Park that will make the site a viable and vibrant space. But, rather the selective concentration of appropriate activity that allows the passive spaces to exist and take on significance and value within the backdrop of the physical layout of Grand Boulevard and the city of North Vancouver. 3.3.3.1 Strategic Assumptions: 1) Maintain and enhance the structure of Grand Boulevard. It has historic significance and it helps to define the neighbourhood of Grand Boulevard; 2) Strengthen and increase the programs that can occur in the site. This makes the boulevard a more cost effective tool for the City of North Vancouver and provides people with more ways to enjoy this unique piece of parkland; 3) Utilize natural the attributes and features of the site, such as the trees, views and availability of water to define, program and add character to the site. Chapter 4 A DESIGN PROPOSAL The "goal in...designing the urban surface is to increase its capacity to support and diversify activities in time" (233). Programming the Urban Surface, A l e x W a l l 4.1 Introduction Although the inventory, analysis, and overall conceptual plan focused upon Grand Boulevard as a whole, a more detailed design centered strictly upon the node that is created where Grand Boulevard intersects 14th Street (figure 19), at Boulevard Park. In the design, Grand Boulevard and Boulevard Park become one working together to form a central node for the neighbourhood, anchoring it in space and in the consciousness of the public. The design creates a vibrant center for the community while strengthening the edges and boundaries of Grand Boulevard, establishing its identity more clearly in the framework of North Vancouver. Along with existing activities such as soccer and tennis, the design builds upon a different set of recreational opportunities, including the gentle, gaming sports that all ages can participate in. 26 More importantly, the design creates numerous opportunities for various types of social interaction. Both sports activities and social activities center about the notion of 'a view'. The community house, terrace, promenade, stairs, benches, picnic areas, sports fields and numerous gathering spots allow for a multitude of ways to socialize and enjoy a view, whether that view be of the fantastic backdrop of the mountains, ivy vines scaling up a wall, a soccer match, or people dancing in the central terrace. These areas are vital spaces where memory can be created. They are flexible and tactile places that bring back the individual to the site, again and again, and begin to engrain it in to the consciousness of the community. 4.2 Conceptual Plan The conceptual plan, illustrated in figure 20, shows the overall framework for Grand Boulevard. Dominate entrance/exit nodes for Grand Boulevard appear where Grand Boulevard meets Keith Road, 19th Street, and at the Pedestrian Mall of 14th Street. A strong entrance should be placed at the major entrance nodes of 19th Street and Keith Road. The adjacency of the boulevard to schools and churches offers unique opportunities that bring the community out from the school or church and into the public space of the boulevard. For instance, the block between Keith Road and 9th Street already has a small day lighted stream. Expanding this program over a larger area could create an outdoor classroom on riparian systems or storm water management. The program will include a separate pedestrian circulation, small classroom like bench seating areas and lookout decks all open to public use and enjoyment. The other high order node that exists is the 14th Street pedestrian intersecting with Grand Boulevard. The nodal quality, with the inclusion of Boulevard Park, makes this a prime location for large program interventions, such as a community house revolving around recreation sports opportunities. The object is not to redo what already occur at the various North Vancouver Recreational Centers, but to add a different sort of recreation, one that is based on the gentle sports, such as croquet or bocce ball. The types of games were selected to support the growing senior community in the area. However, these game types also have appeal to the younger community who may first be introduced to them by their grand mums or dads at this facility. What follows is a block by block synopsis of the conceptual plan for Grand Boulevard. It should be noted that all points listed can be applied to the whole of Grand Boulevard and are not solely specific to that block. 27 To Greenwood Park ^ * The Green Necklace (shown below in green), pedestrian Ql/eensbury^V I Queensbury promenade for North Vancouver will travel from Victoria Elementary 1 • ! Par/c a/ong Kerf/7 Road to Grand Boulevard, north up o i L i 111 Queensbury to Greenwood Park where it willcontinue oC^OfM * - To Lvnn Canvon west to Lonsdale and beyond. Structures and programs | i can re/Vecf fne historical nature of this walk. Grand Boulevard 19th Street < = ! Soure(Base Image): OCP, 2003 Sutherland Secondary 15th Street 14th Street 13th Street <= l i 16th Strett" * Grand Boulevard East and West 14th Street BoulevacjJL Park CD FfimriT T LEGEND • •* View Corridor • Community Node • Activity Node Urban Densification 3 to 4 story high density u Circulation mmmmmm Pedestrian Primary EZ3 EH C=3 C=3 Pedestrian Secondary Vehicular Primary Vehicular Secondary Keith Road ater Feature ' Brooksbank •Elementary '-' School Queensbury To Moodyville Park Figure 20: Conceptual Plan Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park No Scale Block # 1 Figure 21: Conceptual of Forest and Clearing 4.2.1 Grand Boulevard, 17th to 19th Street 1. Celebrate the Edge Grand Boulevard between 17th and 19th represents one of the end segments for the boulevard. As such, a successful design shall celebrate this edge by providing a type of gate that helps to define this critical boundary in volume and line. 2. Make Connections The interweaving of many threads is needed to make fabric. Grand Boulevard must make connections to nearby schools and churches to help knit its existence into the fabric of North Vancouver, but more importantly into the consciousness of the neighbourhood inhabitants. Incorporating a place to hold outdoor weddings, masses, school theatre or graduations in conjunction with the nearby church, elementary and secondary school, weaves Grand Boulevard into the lives and memories of those that live the closest to it. 3. Maximize the Natural Character of the Site Of all the blocks along Grand Boulevard, this segment is the most heavily wooded. To make a gentle connection to the nearby forest areas, this segment should be planted with more coniferious trees, especially toward the edge (figure 21). This not only defines the sides of the boulevard, but a cleared area can be left in the central part to the boulevard, creating a quiet grass field amongst the trees and an easily accessible refuge from the busy city. 29 4.2.2 Grand Boulevard, 15th to 17th Street 1. Allow Grand Boulevard to Exist Grand Boulevard has some unique characteristics, one of which is it openness. Areas should be maintained, as is, to honor that image of the boulevard. Edge work and a more careful attention to the layout of new trees will further enhance the character of this segment. It can become something of a relaxed arboretum, where people can come to sit or walk near the varied trees and enjoy the birds calling. The trees are labeled throughout the park. This simple act ties people to the site allowing them to understand, identify and become a part of the site, even a part of cyclical pattern of nature as they watch the trees change with the seasons. 2. Reconnect Severed Connections The Grand Boulevard block segments take up two whole city blocks, which in turn cuts off vehicle access between once connected streets. Presently, only one of these connections is maintained as a pedestrian thoroughfare (figure 22). Re-establish all severed streets as minor pedestrian way across Grand Boulevard. This acknowledges and encourages the pedestrian movement in the area, decreasing the reliance on the motor vehicle. 3. Utilize Nodes as Gathering Places Where these minor walkways intersect the major north south pedestrian way, a node is created. These places should be programmed as places to stop and enjoy a conversation with a neighbour, pet a dog, or provide a brief respite from a brisk walk. 30 Figure 23: 14th Street Pedestrian 4.2.3 Grand Boulevard, 13th to 15th Street 1. Densification Increasing the housing density at key points near Grand Boulevard, in this case along Queensbury, 13th, 14th, and 15th Street provides a means to maintain the existing physical structure of Grand Boulevard as a green, public space for the public. The alternative, to maintain the site within its low density setting, or changing Grand Boulevard to accommodate housing, do not add the needed amenities that a growing city, like the City of North Vancouver, require. 2. 14th Street, A Green Pedestrian Way 14th Street takes its place as a pedestrian green mall, by connecting the neighbourhood center of Grand Boulevard with the civic center of the city (refer figure 19). A stroll along the 14th Street could begin from the library. The stroll takes you across busy, vehicled Lonsdale Avenue and onto a street lined with arching trees, green grass beneath them. The pedestrian pathway is generous and cool. Street bulges with their corner plantings are in their summer foliage of blue, pink and yellow wild flowers. The occasional car slowly passes by, careful of the kids playing near. After you pass Lions Gate Hospital, you wave to neighbours sitting on their porches or weeding in their front gardens and talk of the weather. The journey home is almost done. The 14th Street pedestrian way takes its place in the hierarchical treatment of street types in the city (figure 23). Character definition, from street widths, pedestrian path widths, treatment of trees and plantings, articulate the space, greeting the mind and welcoming the user along the way. 31 — 1 J Crarx) Boulevard .. ... . . I t J - . — «v -> ! -1" — - i • T Block #3 4. Concentrate Uses Appropriately The intersection between the east west 14th Street Pedestrian with the major north south promenade along Grand Boulevard provides a useful location to concentrate activities and programs. The concentration allows some of the other areas of Grand Boulevard to exist as just passive open space, enjoyable in and of themselves. 5. Manage the Water This measure utilizes the existing available water that is found running near the site in storm drains. The water is day lighted and utilized as features. In the case of this segment of the boulevard, the water can be run into a bio-swale along Moody Avenue between 13th and 15th Street to help not only sustainably infiltrate water back into the ground, but also as edge definition for the site that people can walk along. The water can also be utilized to demonstrate a larger storm water cleansing system, designed as a series of pools, the last and largest to be utilized as a casting pond. 6. Flexibility and Multiple Uses The physical attributes of the program features should include multiple functions for one area. An outdoor dance floor can also be a place to meet a friend, have a tai chi class, read poetry out loud, take in the sun, go to a market or festival space, or have a large formal dinner. Complexity adds richness to an area. The richness captures the mind of the user tying him or her to the space in the ability to have them inhabit the space repeatedly and for different reasons. 32 Block #4 4.2.4 Grand Boulevard, 11th to 13th Street 1. Continue an Idea The 6 blocks of Grand Boulevard are contiguous and therefore should show a running relationship between one block to the next. In this segment, the larger water feature began in the previous block (Casting Pool) will now become a uninterrupted bio-swale that will persist to the last block at Keith Road, meeting with the day lighted stream found there. Associated plantings, along the bio-swale, will be of native grasses and trees. The secondary trail network will sometimes parallel the bio-swale, sometimes not. An occasional wooded bridge will bring the path across the bio-swale. The idea is to provide different vista into, across or above the bio-swale that will peak interest as one walks along the trail. i 33 I J Grand Boolevwd Block #5 4.2.5 Grand Boulevard, 9th to 11th 1. Establish a Volume That Grand Boulevard is a definitely planar feature is undisputed. But, is it a defined volume? The edge and volume character of Grand Boulevard must further assert itself within the fabric of North Vancouver. This can include edge work such as a low rustic style fencing that allows visual and physical permeability (figure 24). By articulating the edge with a fence, the plane and volume of Grand Boulevard are strengthened. The treatment of the fence can further enhance the notion that the boulevard is an 'owned' space, rather than the 'unowned' image that is projected now. When the sense of care is established in a place such as Grand Boulevard, the place becomes more valuable in the minds of the public. Figure 24: Defining an Edge with a Fence 34 Block #6 4.2.6 Grand Boulevard, Keith Road to 9th Street 1. Utilize the Views Views abound on the site. The object is to manage and strengthen key view corridors so that they become significant places to be enjoyed on many levels, from quiet contemplation to boisterous dinners. 2. Make Connections The interweaving of many threads is needed to make fabric. Grand Boulevard must make connections to nearby schools, such as Ridgeway and Brooksbank Elementary School to knit its existence into the fabric of North Vancouver, but more importantly into the consciousness of the neighbourhood inhabitants. This section utilizes the day lighted stream and bio-swale to create a large outdoor learning place. Secondary pathways along the bio-swale and stream will connect to mini-stations that allow a group of children to sit and learn about different aspects of the riparian system with their instructor. Whether as outdoor classroom or just a quiet place to sit watching the water flow past, this connection allows children, teens, or adults to interact on a human scale with the process of nature. 3. Celebrate the Edge Grand Boulevard at Keith Road represents the other end of the boulevard. As such, a successful design shall celebrate this edge be providing a type of gate that helps to define this critical boundary in volume and line. 35 4.3 Memory and Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park As stated previously, the methodological orientation for the design revolves around memory and place making. The 7 ways that this approach informed the design are as follows. 4.3.1 Soccer with a View The design of the soccer field and immediate environs takes advantage of the key view to Vancouver and Stanley Park from this area (figure 25). The soccer field sits terraced before this spectacular backdrop, elevated to take advantage of the view. What better way or place to kick a goal, shout encouragement or coach a game then in this setting. It is an arena that allows the player or spectator to not only experience the game, the shouts, the grass stains, the sun beating down over head-it is also a place that allows them to experience themselves within the larger context of North Vancouver and Vancouver, simply through the relationship of the field with the view Memorable places ground individuals within the landscape. 2. Sunset Theatre Just above the northeast corner of the soccer field is the Sunset Theatre made up of memorial benches that are already seen throughout Grand Boulevard. Other such 'theatres' can be placed as other key view areas along Grand Boulevard. This area could hold a maximum of 20 benches all bought and donated, by the public at large, to commemorate a life passed. The theatre sits on its own mini terrace set to take in a soccer game or watch a family setting off on a race across the field. But, more importantly, while sitting here anyone, stranger, family or friend can capture the canvas of the sky, particularly, as it moves through sunset and the day closes into night. 36 Places of significance bring and have meaning in our lives. The Sunset Theatre brings significance into the design. The benches are intentional memorials, specific to the person or family that donates and chooses to place them in the park. They come repeatedly to sit and celebrate the life memorialized on the bench and therefore this place becomes special for them in the significance of place and memorial. The grouping of the benches further enhances this aspect, as it mimics the placement of grave headstones and faces the sky as it sets into evening. 3. Pedestrian Malls There are three main pedestrian malls for Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park. They are North South, East West and Moody. But, they are not simply pedestrian malls they are promenades. A promenade on Moody, starts with a friend in tow. The grasses of the bio-swale rustle softly with the conversation that is shared, steady trickle of water over white granite cobbles of the bio-swale in the background. The smell of crusty bread waifs over from the bakery across the street. A neighbour ahead waves and conversation is exchanged at the warm wooded bench that he sits upon. After all is said, the promenade continues with a stop for snow cones at the concession stand, then to move toward the enveloping evergreen woodland and the bridge over water that it sits amongst. Promenades are dances-sometimes slow, formal ones, like above, that move one across the landscape at a stroll or a perhaps a saunter. Sometimes promenades are fast, intricate ones like a scramble or a skim. But, whatever form the promenade takes, it allows the human body to digest and identify in time with the landscape as it moves through it. Memory is built upon the ability of the human body to relate itself to the surrounding landscape, to tangible touch, see, hear, smell, and taste it as it passes by. 4. Maple Tree Allee Skirting the east edge of the soccer field and sitting over the North South Promenade at 15th Street is the Maple Tree Allee (figure 26). It is a series of Sugar Maples (Acer saccharum) lined up in rows and set at a slant against the North South Promenade. As one moves down the open promenade to meet the first row of maples, the trunks of the trees suddenly line up and the canopy of the nearest tree encloses overhead and the view of the surrounding landscape is reduced. But, a few more steps and once again, there is the open expanse of sky, air and land with the Figure 26: Maple Tree Allee 37 view to Vancouver, its tall buildings and the forest green of Stanley Park. Then once again the row of trees cuts off the view, to reappear again just a few steps away. The reiteration of an experience, but in a different forms, builds site character and identity. The key characteristic of this corner of the site, where 15th Street meets the North South Promenade is its spectacular view to Vancouver. The view can be experienced as one plays soccer on the field, or as one sits at the Sunset Theatre, or as one passes through the Maple Tree Allee which punctuate the view by creating a series of very thin blinds (the physical trees as you pass them) which then leads one out immediately into openness and the view again. Furthermore, the change in season, introduces a different aspect of the allee. Where revisiting the area, ties people to the seasonal changes that occur over the sight. 5. Arbour House Situated just to the east of the community house, the Arbour House is a workshop and classroom facility utilizing the principle of in/out (figure 27). 50 to 60% of the exterior walls will be movable to allow for the opening up of the interior to the outside environment. These wall doors are wood framed with glass panels. The non-mOVable Walls are d a r k b l u e WOOd Figure 27: Arbor House Precedent paneling. A shingle roof tops the house. As they work, classroom/workshop participants can look out to those pedestrians passing, see the approaching rain and feel the moisture in the air, or catch a nearby squirrel chase. In reverse, those that pass by are allowed to see what occurs on the inside, a group of seniors laughing or a classroom of kids huddled in front of an orchid plant. Memory is built upon the richness that exists in the landscape. The in/out relationship of the Arbour House helps to create the richness that allows one to become apart of the place, even for a very short time. The richness makes the area vibrant in the mind and memorable. 6. Boulevard Terrace The structural components that make up Boulevard Terrace are the terrace itself, the pergola, the stage, lamps, lighting and benches, all set rigidly into the site. It is an romantic outdoor room that supports a multitude of programs from night market festivals and dances, Saturday farmer's market, volunteer dinners, a 38 movie on the terrace, or even singing under the stars. But, it also can support having a coffee in the mid morning rays of the sun or a quiet sit beneath the points of light from the illuminated grid over the dance area. All these events encourage the social interaction of 2 to 200 people. Memory is built upon the multiple social uses that a place has. The multiple programs and uses that inhabit a site allow us to experience the place in different ways. Some of these experiences become special occasions that are the hallmark of remembered joys. 7. Casting Pond Next to the Arbor House sits a deck that begins the second series of weirs used to cleanse the storm water flowing through the area. The weir next to the deck is planted with cattails, all tall and green. Wooden anarondak chairs are casually placed along the deck, some are occupied, some are not. People come here to sit next to the curtain of cattails, a mini vacation against the urban cityscape. As a dragonfly skitters by, some remember the cattails of long forgotten vacation, on the edge of a lake. Landscapes help us to remember lost places in our lives. 39 4.4 Site Plan Framework The high priority of the site was to manage and enhance the view. The key view point for this site was at 15th Street and Grand Boulevard West. The view corridor, to the northwest was kept open of trees. On the northern and western half of the site, tall built structures were minimized to maintain the view corridors. In the southern and bottom eastern half of the site, the vertical features of the enclosed tree canopy were installed to help emphasize the view corridor to the top of the site. The main pedestrian malls running east west and north south divided the site into four segments and helped to further determine the placement of structures and game fields. The focus of the design and community lay at the intersecting points of the two main pedestrian malls. The large, centralizing programs were placed here, such as the community house that would manage the recreational fields. 40 The northwest quadrant would have an open aspect and house the soccer field and sunset terrace. The focus here is the view and the maintaining of the elevated topography to showcase it. Edge works along the street would be grasses, rather than the typical street trees. - 1 J / = = = \ Li L /" The southwest quadrant will be terraced lower than that of the northwest area. The areas main features are a tot lot and the various smaller gentle sport game fields, such as bocce ball. The south edge will take on a heavier planting of trees to create a mini woodland. The goal of this intervention is to provide relief from hot summer days and provide a screen to focus the view for the northwest quadrant. The northeast quadrant will be passive space, open in aspect with the single allee of laurels, marching up the boulevard and the Maple Tree allee that runs over the north south promenade. The southeast quadrant will have a covered aspect with a greater planting of trees. The casting pond for fly fisherman will take up most of the area. The pond begins the bio-swale the will run the remainder of Grand Boulevard. 41 It should be noted here that the original pedestrian way through Grand Boulevard, generally bisects it from north to south. A single block for Grand Boulevard is presented on the left. The dashed line represents the existing pathway. Moving the main pedestrian way, or North South Promenade, closer to the west edge (solid black line) allows for more larger scaled programmed uses to occur in the space to the east of the promenade. If the City of North Vancouver should choose to in the future, they can place other types of sport fields in this area or even a community garden. For now it provides a more centered and useful space for festivals, kite flying contests, impromptu Frisbee games, sky watching or just a sit at the park. The overall design of Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park is built upon enhancing the views. One of the ways the design manages this is through the terracing of the sloping land. Dividing the land in this way provides the most usable area for the programs proscribed and helps to establish this site with a certain recognized character. Terracing is the leveling of land on a slope and suggest qualities of flatness, openness, and separate levels. These qualities are echoed throughout the design from the Boulevard Community House's flat green roof to the lamp and lamp post details. However, the terracing is not so strict as to restrict the existing naturally sloping area 42 4.4.1 Site Plan The site plan is found as figure 28 and 29 in the appendix. The overall programmed amenities for the site are listed as follows : 1. Boulevard Community House and Arbor House 2. Boulevard Terrace 3. Casting Pond 4. Sports Fields 5. Observation Decks 6. Tot Lot 7. Walking Trails and Pedestrian Promenade 8. Sunset Theatre/Picnic with a view 4.4.1.1 Materials and Motifs The palette of hard materials to be used will represent what is available already on site or in the area. The three main materials for use are brick, wood, and cast metal work. They are each in themselves symbolic of a past time and often lend themselves easily to the scale of the human hand and mind. Brick work will be reserved for use on the building facades of the Boulevard Community Figure 30: Brick Work Precedent on 15th Street, North Vancouver House as well as the retaining wall facades on the site (figure 30). The red nature of the brick will add a vibrancy to the area, recalling its aged past, and provides a great juxtaposition for the living climbing plants, such as Virginia Creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) or Boston Ivy (P. tricuspidata), that will inhabit its walls. Wood will be used for the simple post and beam construction of the pergolas. Wood construction will also be evident in the Arbour House and Observation Decks, and numerous bridges. This material harkens back to the wood forest that previously existed in this location and the natural warmth and texture of wood will provide an additional human scaled relationship for the site. Cast metal work (figure 31), dark and heavy, punctuates the site in lamp and lamps posts. They sit grounded to the site, immobile and comforting. Every lamp and lamp post for the site carry a leaf motif that springs from the previously 43 mentioned climbing plants. The same motif will also appear as the metal gate for the Lookout Terrace. The final dominate material of the site will be buff colored concrete. It will be used as a blank canvas for the other materials. Boulevard Terrace will be laid with this material, comprising the terrace floor and benches. Bench backs and seats will be wood. Both main promenades will also be concrete slab, accented by brick work. Secondary walking trails will be simply crushed aggregate. Concrete can sometime be viewed as cold, massive and uninviting, but the design Figure 31: cast Metai Lamp Precedent articulates the concrete with antiquated brick, vanSuve?3™ A v e n u e ' c a s t m e t a l - a n d w o o d w o r k t o bypass this problem. What results are rich and inviting places that hold the human body and imagination. 4.4.1.2 Boulevard Community House and Arbour House The Boulevard Community House's main function is to be a place that is highly adaptable and multifunctional. The main programs are to handle the recreational fields that surround the House and provide programs for the public at large. By designing the community house and the nearby paying fields to be multifunctional, Boulevard Community House, in its multiplicity becomes richer for the community and can also easily adapt to future changes in programs that may arise. F j g u r e 3 2 : B r i c k Detailing for North South Promenade, Under Maple Tree Allee The 16,400 square feet (ft2), Boulevard Community House is placed at the heart of the site at the intersection of the two main pedestrian thoroughfares that run east west and north south from area (figure 29). The house is a two-story structure with the first floor set into the slope (figure 33) that produces a lower building profile with only a single story profile as one approaches from 15th Street (figure 34). This helps to maintain key views and lessens the impact of the volume of the building in the landscape. To further lessen its impact upon the environment, the building will support a green roof. 44 The 2nd floor houses the satellite library, recreation offices, Lookout Cafe/Coffeeshop and kitchen, bathroom and storage. The 1st floor holds the 2 classroom, 2 meeting rooms, bathroom, change room, exercise room, small kitchen and Sun Room. An important feature of the community house is the outdoor Lookout Terrace. The Terrace is an exterior eating area with games and sunset views. It can also be gated to hold private functions (figure 34), such as wedding receptions or retirement parties. Such alternative activities bring in added revenue to the community house and its various programs. They also allow the community to return to this heart of the neighbourhood that supports the many aspects of their lives, from their children that come and play croquet on the field below, to the father that uses the weight room and volunteers for bingo night, to the grandmother that is celebrating her birthday with her family beneath the stars on the Lookout Terrace. Significant places are places where we can repeatedly spend time in and make memories The nearby 2778 ft2 (258 m2) Arbour House, further builds upon this idea. It is a semi open classroom facility dedicated to programs that are garden and arbour based. But, the openness of the facility, with sliding glass exterior doors, opens the interior space to the outside making it accessible and inviting to the public. The Arbour House works in conjunction with the community house but offers a dedicated place to learn and possibly care for the trees and the grounds of Grand Boulevard. It becomes a gathering spot for the garden community that can be walked up and freely spoken too. 4.4.1.3 Boulevard Terrace The 10253 ft2 (953 m2) Boulevard Terrace is a hard urban surface designed for multiple uses that range from outdoor dances, Canada Day Pancake Breakfasts, Saturday flea and farmer's market, weekend night markets and fairs to reading a book, people watching, game watching, and just enjoying the sunshine in the shady or sunny corners under the pergola (figure 35 and 36). The pergola structure supports climbing vines such as a Chinese Wisteria (Wisteria sinensis) to counterbalance the hard urban surfaces of the terrace while providing a motif that is taken up by the lamp posts and entrance lamps (figure 37 and 38). The central focus of the terrace is the dance area with stage. It is marked by a series of lamp posts that support the grided overhead lights (figure 29). On dance nights, the lights hanging from the overhead grid, act as pin points of illumination as you cha cha below. On another night, only the lamp post are on, casting their warm glow over dinner tables set for the annual volunteer dinner. Boulevard Terrace is designed to help make memorable events. 4.4.1.4 Casting Pond 45 Fly fishing is a popular sport in the area, but no practice pond exists along the entire North Shore. This structure adds a new amenity to the City of North Vancouver's recreational slate. It is a segmented water feature utilizing day lighted storm water and naturally cleanse the water through filtration ponds that end with the casting pond (figure 39). A deck attached to the pools allow people greater access to enjoy the water. Excess water running from the system will begin a natural bio-swale that will run for the remainder of the Grand Boulevard down to meet up with the already exposed day lighted stream near Keith Road. A secondary pathway will intersect, cross and meander with the bio-swale creating another experience for Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park. 4.4.1.5 Outdoor Sports Fields, Observation Decks and Tot Lot Outdoor play features for the northwest quadrant of the site include a high school regulation size soccer field which can also doubles as a kanga (cricket for kids), lacrosse or rugby field, if you are sports inclined, or festival field and movie night seating area, for those who are not. The lower southwest quadrant holds 3 croquet courts, 3 bocce ball fields, 2 table tennis areas, the existing 4 tennis courts and a tot lot. The croquet field set with brick work flush to the field, also can function as an outdoor theatre. Three smaller building structures support the outdoor play features. The first two, those that straddle the East West Promenade are both two-story buildings with observations decks on the top level. The bottom levels hold bathrooms, change rooms, storage areas for the soccer field and bocce/croquet equipment. The third structure, at the edge of the tot lot contains another bathroom facility. 4.4.1.6 Promenades and Walking Trails 4.4.1.6.1 East West and North South Promenade The North South Promenade measures 6 m in width and is subdivided in half by brick work detail laid into the concrete slab (refer figure32). It accommodates a pedestrian way as well as a bikeway. Roller blading activity is also allowed. The East West pedestrian way, 4 m in width, is also concrete slab and provides access to various terrace levels. It includes an elevator that can bring seniors and the physically challanged from the 14th Street entrance to the tot lot terrace or the upper concourse of the East West Promenade (figure 40). The North South Promenade is a community stroll where mothers power walk their infants in a stroller, teenagers bike to meet their friends, and a running group sails on by to get in their bi-weekly exercise run. It a social network as well as a pedestrian thoroughfare traveling through a landscape that is familiar but changes daily. 46 The East West Promenade, is more stately, high headed. It takes it travelers, a man coming home from work, a new comer just visiting, or an elderly couple hand in hand, along its journey that sees all. It is mostly in the position of elevation, looking over and into the casting pond, the Arbor House, the soccer and croquet field, as well as to the spectacular mountain views to the north. Thus, the East West Promenade is a prime location to see and be seen. It is a promenade that allows the user to see all that the community house has to offer, while placing him or her in the context of the site and within the context of the city of North Vancouver. 4.4.1.6.2 Moody Promenade A secondary feature of the overall circulation pattern of the Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park is Moody Promenade (figure 41 and 42). The programs that make up this section look at establishing a dialogue between the west edge on Moody and its retail/commercial first floor, residential above and the east park edge. The site includes a natural bio-swale that takes up water from the storm drains at Moody and 15th Street and day lights it as a way to filter and infiltrate storm water naturally into the area. As a part of this bio-swale, Moody Avenue will have a no curb street edge parking on its east side. Pervious pavers next to the no curb edge will allow water from the street to flow easily to the bio-swale. Bollards prevent cars from rolling into the swale. On the east edge of the bio-swale sits Moody Promenade, a social space with benches that look back to the opposite side of the avenue. This is a promenade where ice cream bought across the street, can be eaten on warm wooden benches while you see the people across the way shop and do their daily errands. 4.4.1.6.3 Walking Trails In addition to the sidewalks that skirt the edge of the design site, a secondary network of paths exist that give the user a different, more naturalistic experience of the area. These pathways tend to parallel the edges but meander throughout the site. It is a casual stroll meant to encourage stopping and looking at the nearby tree or flowers. Laid in crushed aggregate, the pathway pops in and out of the dappled lighting of trees on the east and south edge of the site, and provides a different experience of the open area of the north edge. 4.4.1.7 Picnic with a View Although any area on the site could be considered a picnic spot, the concentration of picnic tables and seating benches should be in areas that hold key views. By placing benches and picnic tables in the area, it presents an inviting place to not only view sporting and festival events, but to also experience 47 the larger view of North Vancouver and Vancouver. This builds an association with the signature characteristic of Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park, the views. Picnic with a view is designed to be a relaxed social area where the family or an individual can gather to sit and enjoy the surroundings. Each bench and table will have a memorial placard, as each structure will be a gift donation in the memory of a loved one. It may seem one dimensional, a picnic area or sitting benches, but the space works with the sight to build itself as a landscape to return to and enjoy either alone or with friends and family. An alternative to Picnic with a View is the Sunset Theatre, described earlier, where the random memorial benches, on the site now, become something significant in their gathering, faced to catch the setting sun. 48 Chapter 5 CONCLUSION The act of reclaiming landscape is a complex undertaking. It involves bringing together many different, often time conflicting parameters that must all be resolved in order to bring a place into significance, that fit into and provide the area with supportive new programs. A way of taking on this task is to apply human scaled design that makes the landscape claimable within the psyche of the user. The design for Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park is an act in reclaiming the landscape. 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December 15, 2003. <http://www.cnv.org//server.aspx?c=2&l=11 >. 52 Appendix 53 Figure 28: Site Plan, Grand Boulevard at Boulevard Park Site Plan, Treatment of Trees 54 5 10 m Site Plan: Boulevard Terrace Figure 29: Site Plan, Boulevard Terrace 55 North South a Promenade E 0 1 2 3 East West Promenade Boulevard Terrace Boulevard Community House • l : i Figure 34 Section Elevation, Boulevard Terrace, Looking East 0 1 2 3 5m 56 Figure 35: Section Elevation, Boulevard Terrace, Looking North 57 Wisteria Vine Wood Support Members 4 i Seating Bench Cast Iron Boot on Concrete Footing Figure 36 Section and Plan Detail, Boulevard Terrace, Pergola 58 Plan View Sections .V. 1 inclosing Forest Casting Pond Boulevard Community House Boulevard Terrace Arbour House CD C tn o 03 CD O Q Viewing Pond/ Cleansing Weir Deck Figure 39: Section Elevation, Casting Pond 60 Section, Upper Moody Avenue, between 14th and 15th Street Section, Lower Moody Avenue, between 13th and 14th Street Figure 41: Sections, Moody Avenue, Looking North 3 Story Mixed Use 1 st Fir - Commercial/Retail 2nd and 3rd Fir - Residential Figure 42: Section Elevation, Moody at 13th Street 

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