UBC Graduate Research

Vancouver Port Discovery District : Container ship adaptive reuse as a new form of social infrastructure Liu, Jia


Vancouver is the largest port in Canada and the third largest in North America. The city has been Canada’s primary hub for trade, with more than 170 world economies. The vessels anchored in the Burrard Inlet connect people with Vancouver’s port identity. Yet they always stay far away from people, like a distant mirage. Meanwhile, the public know very little about Vancouver’s port activities due to limited access for security reasons. Therefore, few people in the city can actually relate to Vancouver’s port and trade hub identity. The thesis looks at adaptively reusing a container ship at the end of its service life as a vehicle to engage Vancouverites with the city’s role as the largest port in Canada by infusing this new social infrastructure within the city’s transportation hub (cruise, container, railway, seabus, skytrain terminals). The ship enables the public to observe the various port activities and to make them feel proud of the city’s port identity through programs and public amenities brought onboard. The public can learn about and discover what Vancouver is made up of in a more tangible way. They can live, learn, socialize, experience, and work in unique environments that are created by inherent spatial qualities of the ship and shipping containers.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International