The Salt Building (ca. 1930)

85 West 1st Avenue, Vancouver, British Columbia

2014 Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award (Adaptive Reuse/Rehabilitation)

This distinctive historic landmark located within Vancouver’s Southeast False Creek (SEFC) neighbourhood is a rare survivor of an area once dominated by ship builders, steel fabricators and sawmills. Built in the 1930s, the Salt Building was used to refine sea salt for over 50 years before being a paper recycling plant. Looking to preserve a unique piece of Vancouver’s history, this impressive rehabilitation project followed five guiding principles: 1) preserve the Salt building in its original location; 2) recognize the historic patterns of former industrial use; 3) recognize the historic connection to the False Creek waterfront; 4) retain the existing exterior siding; and 5) retain the visibility of the roof structure inside the building. The project involved permanently raising the building one metre on galvanized steel pile extensions in order to preserve character-defining elements that would have been buried; upgrading walls, floors and roof systems to achieve LEED Gold target levels; and rehabilitating and reinforcing the building’s timber column and truss system to meet structural and seismic requirements. The Salt Building now houses a brew pub restaurant and an interpretive installation informs the public about the history of the building and the unique heritage and legacy of the neighbourhood.

Owner: City of Vancouver
Architects: Acton Ostry Architects Ltd.
Heritage Consultants: Commonwealth Historic Resource Management; Jonathan Yardley Architect; J. Deborah Hossack Heritage Resource Consultant

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