The Great Northern Way Pavilion is relatively small project in stature but it makes a statement like no other structure in the City of Vancouver. Design by Perkins & Will, the pavilion is a stunning architectural achievement. Inspired by the intricate layered composition of flowers, the pavilion, which was completed in February of this year, is both a coffee house and landmark sculpture.
Primarily constructed of prefabricated mass timber, this complex and expressive building demonstrates a progressive manufacturing and sustainable approach. The uniquely curved petal forms overlap creating an undulating pattern comprised of five inner petals that form the grand singular volume and five outer petals that flare out to announce the three entrances. The petals converge at the top to form an oculus filtering daylight to illuminate the wood clad interior creating a warm and inviting ambience.
Vancouver’s new art, design and innovation district
The False Creek Flats neighborhood in East Vancouver is transforming. The former industrial land is changing face with a blooming art scene that aspires to position the precinct as Vancouver’s new art, design and innovation district. The relocation of Emily Car University of Art + Design, previously located on Granville Island since 1980, to its new building north of the pavilion’s site, creates a campus that provided the rich context and cultural inspiration for the pavilion.
The pavilion is both a coffeehouse and a landmark sculpture building that anchors the regeneration of an industrial zone. It will be the catalyst for the area’s redevelopment and connection to the city. Composed as a sequence of ten interconnected and undulating fractal petals, the pavilion’s form takes inspiration from the delicate and intricate layered composition of flowers. The colorful petals share a common locus, they curve, overlap, rotate, flare, and rise – as they would in nature.
Akin to flowers attracting birds, the pavilion aspires to attract and engage the emerging community of artists and students with an open and accessible design that welcomes the public and puts the creative processes on display.