Walk, run, and cycle. Vancouver’s Seawall is a centre for activity every day of the year, especially when the sun is shining. A Vancouver architecture firm has taken particular interest in a stretch of the Seawall in Coal Harbour, proposing a floating “Harbour Deck” to re-connect Vancouverites to the ocean.
They took inspiration from similar locations in Copenhagen and Oslo, where they have similar climates and urban environments. In the years since the introduction of “harbour baths” in these cities, water quality around ports has improved as the relationship between industry, the public and the marine environment is strengthened.
“HCMA’s focus is serving communities. We want to use our design potential to create healthy, delightful and sustainable environments that strengthen relationships of people who live shoulder-to-shoulder. We want to encourage activity and human connection.” —Darryl Condon, HCMA Managing Partner.
The design for Harbour Deck includes an oval wooden boardwalk, seats shielded from the wind, swim lanes, wading areas, water hammocks, a raised bridge, and a space for picnicking and live performances. HCMA is well versed in designing aquatic and community spaces, as the firm behind Hillcrest Centre in Vancouver, and numerous other community spaces in the Lower Mainland.
There are not yet plans to move ahead with construction, but HCMA hopes the Harbour Deck will kickstart conversation about effective public spaces that redefine our relationship with the water.