Inhabitat Unbound
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Inhabitat Unbound

Strathcona Village sustainably combines industrial and residential spaces

Strathcona Village sustainably combines industrial and residential spaces

Vancouver-based GBL Architects has completed a 300,000-square-foot building in one of Vancouver’s oldest neighborhoods, Strathcona. The area, historically one of industry, now features a mixed-use development called Strathcona Village, with spaces for residential living as well as light industry.

According to the designers, the building is considered the first of its kind in North America as a complex that creates job opportunities as well as much-needed affordable housing for workers in a unique, sustainable community model. There are 70 units inside, all city-owned social housing, with 23 rented at shelter rates and 17 designed for families with young children. The businesses inside will be limited to PDR (production, distribution and repair) industries.

Related: 10 shipping containers make up this modern, mixed-use structure in Shanghai

Biggest Shipping container building ever
shipping container architecture homes

Kira Gerwing, a former City of Vancouver planner and current senior manager of community investment, said that the variety of uses the development offers the community will help Vancouver achieve its sustainability and economic goals. “This model for mixed-use projects that retain light industrial businesses should scale to other urban centers in our region,” Gerwing said. “We know these uses are critical to building a robust, diverse and sustainable urban economy.”

Affordable Housing
Affordable housing shipping containers

The design of the building takes into consideration the overall style of the existing neighborhood infrastructure while still maintaining a comfortable living environment for future residents. The surrounding area, near downtown on the edge of the Port of Vancouver, is a constant receiver of railway containers and loading cranes. The Strathcona Village was designed to resemble the colors and shapes of stacked shipping containers to blend in with the area while still maintaining a fresh architectural design.

inhabitat shipping container

At the most recent Urban Development Institute Awards, Strathcona Village was voted most “Innovative Building Design,” an award which focuses on projects featuring innovative social, economic and environmental elements. The project also took home the prize for “Best in Show,” awarded to the best project from all of the category winners.

Written by Katherine Gallagher

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Inhabitat® is a green design and lifestyle site that provides coverage of environmental news and the latest in sustainable design. Our website is devoted to the future of design, innovative technology, and architectural projects and concepts.

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Inhabitat

Inhabitat

Inhabitat® is a green design and lifestyle site that provides coverage of environmental news and the latest in sustainable design.

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