Thinking

Vancouverism, The Vibrancy Chapter

Vancouver has a fondness for repetitive building typologies. From the Vancouver Special affordable housing solution of the 1960s to the 1980s to the False Creek condo towers of the 1990s, and most recently the mid-rise formula up on Cambie. Why does much of the built environment in Vancouver look the same? Is it because the new and unproven makes us nervous as it pertains to our area of expertise?

It is very difficult to create uplifting, all-inclusive, vibrant communities when there is no variety or openness to explore the unproven. 

 

The Independent by Rize Alliance

As the Vancouver development scene moves towards rental housing, there’s an opportunity to break free from the commoditized, buy and sell homeownership investment model. An opportunity for unexpected building typologies that delivers unique and expressive homes while maintaining its affordability. Creating a vibrant housing stock for everyone. 

Let’s look across to Paris and Tokyo.

The Loggias by Koz Architectes
The Loggias by Koz Architectes
The Loggias by Koz Architectes
The Loggias by Koz Architectes
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The Loggias, Paris

This social housing project in Paris by Koz Architectes is memorable for its lime green highlights. It stands apart for its unapologetic brightness.  A condo project here in Vancouver might opt for a much “safer” colour scheme, so as not to disrupt pre-sales and future re-sales. Because of Western ideals on home-ownership, it has been ingrained in most of us that a starter home is the beginning of a retirement savings plan. But our relationship to ownership is changing. 

Rental projects are freed from the home-ownership investment constraint. Renters are more likely to want a home with unique features. Why not declare that you live in the unique building, you know, the one with the green balconies. You’d be surprised at how often someone will say, “Oh, I love that building!”

Nagatacho Project by Adam Nathaniel Furman / Photo by Jan Vranovsky
Nagatacho Project by Adam Nathaniel Furman / Photo by Jan Vranovsky
Nagatacho Project by Adam Nathaniel Furman / Photo by Jan Vranovsky
Nagatacho Project by Adam Nathaniel Furman / Photo by Jan Vranovsky
Nagatacho Project by Adam Nathaniel Furman / Photo by Jan Vranovsky
Nagatacho Project by Adam Nathaniel Furman / Photo by Jan Vranovsky
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The Nagatacho Project, Tokyo

Located in central Tokyo, the interiors of this Nagatacho apartment by Adam Nathaniel Furman is anything but safe. The colour and material palette are a celebration of what might be possible if we freed ourselves from the mundane. An exciting, optimistic and vibrant place that reveals the whimsy and wonder necessary to transform the way we look at where we live.

When we start looking beyond property and investments, there’s freedom to think outside of the box.