Vancouver is composed of many unique, vibrant communities, many of which we have been fortunate enough to work in. When we first started exploring Joyce-Collingwood, however, it became immediately apparent that the neighbourhood’s deep history and richness of character make it a truly special place within the fabric of this city.
Established in the late 1890’s, Joyce-Collingwood is one of Vancouver’s most established neighborhoods. Today, the neighborhood is one the most multicultural communities in the city and home to over 50,500 residents, with families making up just over half of this amount. The Joyce-Collingwood neighborhood is well served by transit and enjoys an abundance of greenspace, with great parks like Collingwood, Gaston, Renfrew Ravine, Aberdeen and Central Park all within a 10km radius. However, for us what has really come to define the community is the openness of its residents and their welcoming spirit. From the merchants on Joyce to the folks at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House, to the St. Mary’s Parish, there is a strong sense of neighborliness, an essential quality for any healthy neighbourhood.
Westbank has built a practice around long-term commitments to artistry, sustainability and city-building. As we continue to evolve, we’ve found that these commitments are driving us to create work that exemplifies, and above all, embodies, beauty. Our definition of beauty encompasses aesthetics and design but equally, it includes the value of our projects as social and cultural contributions. Now, with each project, whether it be Vancouver House, the Pacific Rim, Alberni by Kengo Kuma, the redevelopment of Oakridge, or with our projects in Toronto, Seattle and Tokyo, our starting point is always: ‘how can we make a neighbourhood more beautiful?’
Our task at Joyce-Collingwood is to create a project that will bring a high degree of artistry and beauty to an already well-functioning neighbourhood. As such, our project is tailored to fit the community, adding vibrancy to the neighborhood’s streetscape and honoring the area’s heritage. The architecture of the building was inspired by the concept of a quilt, representing a multitude of narratives from the cultures of the neighborhood. Layered on top of the metaphorical quilt, expressed in the project’s balconies, is the outline of Still Creek, one of the only remaining exposed creeks left in Vancouver that runs through the Joyce-Collingwood community.
One of the most important characteristics of this area is its attractiveness to families. To help foster family-living in the neighborhood, we have ensured that 65% of the homes at JOYCE are two bedroom or larger, one of the highest percentages of family housing offered in a new development in generations. We have continued this thinking in the planning of the amenity space, where we have included a multifunctional space that will serve as a library, study room and music room for residents. With incredible views from Queen Elizabeth park to the North Shore mountains and downtown to the airport, there is little doubt this space will become a focal point for the residences of JOYCE.
JOYCE is a direct manifestation of our commitment to creating beautiful projects that contribute social and cultural value to the communities in which we build. We have challenged ourselves to create something that will both honor the neighborhood’s heritage and cultures while fostering future growth. We hope in the end you will see a level of effort and a degree of artistry reflected in our work that is befitting one of Vancouver’s first, historic neighborhoods.
On behalf of the entire team, thank you for taking the time to discover our latest endeavor, at JOYCE.
– Ian Gillespie, Founder, Westbank