Coming into any new neighbourhood, it is the responsibility of the architect to create a meaningful contribution, that will both complement and elevate the surrounding community. At JOYCE, we challenged ourselves to create a residence and community hub that would at once meet the needs of a growing, multi-cultural and family-oriented community, while incorporating an aesthetic rooted in the history of the neighbourhood.

The architectural narrative at JOYCE takes inspiration from the multiculturalism of the community and from the neighbourhood’s surrounding natural environment. At its core, the design celebrates the neighbourhood’s diversity, through the symbolism of a patterned quilt. Expressed in the balconies of the project, through overlapping patterns of coloured glass, the symbolic quilt represents a multitude of narratives from the cultures of the neighbourhood, as researched by the Collingwood Neighbourhood House. Layered over the metaphorical quilt, reflecting the natural inspiration of the design, is the outline of Still Creek. Still Creek was once a thriving Salmon Run and for the first time in decades, salmon have returned to spawn, following the river through the Joyce-Collingwood community. Inspired by the river’s renewal, the colouring of the balconies is designed to evoke imagery of the salmon swimming upstream. Echoing the river’s elegant form, the project’s design cuts the river’s outline into the façade creating a powerful visual homage to one of Vancouver’s natural landmarks.

JOYCE is located in the heart of the Joyce-Collingwood neighbourhood, just steps from the SkyTrain station at the corner of Joyce Street and Vanness Avenue. While the project is immediately adjacent to a key transit node in the area, it is designed to balance the vibrancy and activity of the area, creating a separation of space between the homes and the urban surroundings, that allows visitors and passerby to experience the activity of the neighbourhood while providing residents with the essential qualities that make a home. Though creating a distinctive residential address, the project simultaneously integrates the public realm and retail components into the surrounding streetscape to create a cohesive, vibrant addition to the neighbourhood. Carefully thought-out retail and landscaping components complement the overall character of Joyce Street while blurring the transitions between the project’s urban and residential edges. An exceptional public realm includes an animated southern laneway and pedestrian friendly greenspace, bringing a new, revitalizing public amenity to the area.

The Joyce-Collingwood Neighbourhood is one with distinct character, home to a multitude of cultural heritages and a vibrant, tight-knit community. Each design element at JOYCE has been crafted to make a lasting contribution to Joyce-Collingwood, providing a home for its residents and a focal point for the neighbourhood. As a new mark in the skyline and as a foundational project for the neighbourhood’s future development, we hope that JOYCE will come to form an integral part of the story, at Joyce-Collingwood.

— Gregory Henriquez, Architect