The Shipyards

North Vancouver, British Columbia

2021 Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award (Transformative Projects)

A waterfront view of Shipyard Commons (left) and the hotel (Seaside Hotel) / restaurant (Joey Shipyard) complex (right). The building’s roofline mirrors that of the original machine shop, paying homage to the site’s important history. Capilano University (signage on left) is one of the key tenants in the Shipyard’s commercial space. Photo © Stuart Kernaghan

This impressive redevelopment of a waterfront site retained its industrial character, balanced with the new functions of a much-needed waterfront public amenity.

When shipbuilding slowed down in the decades after World War II, the North Vancouver Shipyards – dating back to 1906 – were forced closed and this once-thriving industrial space sat dormant for most of the next two decades. After many years of debate, a final concept was agreed upon and construction started in 2017.

A reimagined machine shop, known as “Shipyard Commons,” is at the center of the design, featuring a public skating plaza in the winter and a splash park in the summer. The retractable roof on the west side emulates the character of structures familiar within the vernacular of the Shipyards area. The second structure – housing a boutique hotel and restaurant – adopts a contemporary form and act as a foil to the heritage character of the machine shop.

Since opening in July 2019, it has become a thriving hub of activity, unifying a key part of the city’s once-disjointed waterfront and bringing life to a long-dormant industrial space.

Key Players:
• Quay Property Management Corp. (Owner and Operator)
• DIALOG (Architects)

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