The stretch of East Pender in Vancouver's Chinatown has historically acted as the main street of the neighbourhood, and contains many historically and architecturally significant buildings built during its early days. The City of Vancouver has identified this area as a district deserving of preservation of its buildings, and has acted to subsidize actions with this goal in mind.
AfH-v believes that the restoration of historic building facades in this neighbourhood plays a role in the larger revitalization of the area. Working in collaboration with the City of Vancouver and Building Opportunities with Business, AfH-v provided design services for a building owner, with the intent of restoring the building's facade to its heyday lustre.
In order to best develop the design for the reclaimed facade, the design team researched the available historical data to determine the appearance of the building during its heyday. A significant alteration post-60s was the removal of the cornice of the original 1910 building, and it was decided that the restoration of this element would help align the building with the larger neighbourhood context. Another prominent element was the inclusion of the "date established" text at the top of the building, a common element on building facades in the area. It was decided that this component would be important to ground the building within the historical context of the neighbourhood.
One of the beliefs of the team and the building owner was that a revitalized building could play a part in the larger revitalization of the neighbourhood. The revival of night life in the area played a part in this belief, and to that end the team included new lighting to the facade that evoked the past era of prominent coloured lighting down this main street. The new LED lighting can produce a range of colours and allows for programmable sequences as well.
Multiple meeting with the Heritage authorities at the City of Vancouver led to a finalized design in June 2010. The construction team led by One Man Army began work on Aug. 2011, and work was complete Dec. 2011.
Matthew Lahey - Project Lead
Joel Shane - Typographer
One Man Army Inc.