UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The occupation of a city Edwards, J. Scott


Vancouver is currently implementing a strategic plan of controlled population and job growth. In the downtown area this increase in population is to be accommodated in new housing developments at False Creek North, Granville Slopes, Triangle West and Coal Harbour. These zones have been planned and designed to provide amenities for the comfort of the residents who will live in them, and in some cases have included features that will make them usable at a city or regional level. The developments are a reflection of both current social values and economic realities. The effects of the projected increase in population that the downtown area anticipates will not, however, be restricted to these newly developing districts. As the number of people using a finite amount of space increases, the character of Vancouver's downtown will change: an increase in the demand for downtown office space, intensified use of regional scaled amenities such as Stanley Park, and an expanded use of downtown infrastructure and amenities will effect residents on many levels. Furthermore, as economic pressures change the shape of housing in the downtown area, new residents will put new demands on the fabric of the city. Vancouver will be required to adapt to these changing demands if it is to remain a livable city. The Graduation Project addresses these conditions from two positions. The programme for the project was developed through familiarization with issues relevant to the discussion of urbanity and density (both general and specific to Vancouver). Also, informed by observations about urban spaces, the project questions the definition of site in an exploration of the potential of underutilized spaces found within the fabric of the city. The building, an alternative office environment built on a corporate plaza, both effects and is effected by the environment in which it is situated. The proposal investigates how a building can benefit from the unique characteristics of the site while making a positive contribution to the space of the city. This approach to the problem of accommodating change in a densifying city is one of incremental addition to the layers of city fabric that already exist, reflective of current values just as prior layers reflect the values of their times.

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