UBC Graduate Research

Almost Familiar Baechler, Riley


The Gastown Heritage Guidelines govern all architectural design within the historic area of downtown Vancouver. As these guidelines strictly guard the facade, occupants are forced to expand on the margins. The strict adherence to the guidelines on the facade and the simultaneous revolt against them in the form of additions and alterations demonstrates that, to the city of Vancouver, heritage exists independently of evolving cultural ideologies, social issues and economic constraints. This begs the question: What is being preserved, and for whom? The original Gastown buildings were built to serve a specific need at a specific time and are reflective of the design and construction methods of that time. No longer subject to the same constraints, we can look to contemporary tools, such as digital fabrication, as a means to generate a much needed disruption. By leveraging machine logic, designers can use digital fabrication as a lens from which to gain a unique perspective.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International