INSPIRATION: As the finest grained metamorphic rock, this ‘Slate Block’ Building is inspired by the steadfast formations of this foliation, ever-present in the historic Queen Elizabeth Park. Much like the park’s geographic features, the building form shifts and slides to accommodate old-growth trees located on the site. While rooted in this history, the expression of the project is forward-looking, utilizing contemporary geometries, materials and building systems. It is this dialectic interplay of historic reference and optimism in the future that create a powerful tension within the architectural expression. Within this tension, two architectural themes are strongly represented:
RETENTION OF SIGNIFICANT TREES: Large trees are a significant characteristic of Cambie’s Heritage Boulevard and represent the grand vision of the Cambie Corridor. Here, the retention of these significant trees have shaped the building; the massing is pushed and pulled around this foliage to create a residual form that pays homage to the neighbourhood’s unique greenery. Much like metamorphic rock layers that build up a topography over time, the massing of the proposal is divided into a series of clearly defined horizontal layers; sliding to accommodate historic trees and protruding to create residential decks.
These horizontal components are distinctly articulated through the use of varying materials and detailing. Proposed as glass, stone and concrete, the exterior envelope enhances the scale and proportion of the composition.
FRAGMENTATION: Shifting horizontal slab edges are interrupted by concrete upstands to create a human scale. These irregular breaks fragment the façade’s layering, similar to the fissility found in naturally foliated rock forms.