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 original neighbourhoods. Today, the neighbourhood is one of the most multicultural communities in the city and home to over 50,000 residents, with families making up just over half of this amount. The Joyce-Collingwood neighbourhood 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 10 km 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 along Joyce Street to the folks at the Collingwood Neighbourhood House, to the St. Mary’s Parish, there is a strong sense of neighbourliness, 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 more broadly, it includes social and cultural contributions. Now, with each project, whether it be Vancouver House, TELUS Garden, 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 neighbourhood’s streetscape and honouring the area’s heritage.
One of the most important characteristics of this area is its attractiveness to families. To help foster family-living in the neighbourhood, we have made 65% of the homes at JOYCE two bedroom or larger, the highest percentage of family housing offered in a new development in Vancouver in generations. We have continued this thinking in the planning of the rooftop amenity space, where we have created space for a learning and activity lounge – with a multi-purpose entertainment lounge, library, private study rooms, a private listening room, and rooftop urban outdoor terrace 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 honour the neighbourhood’s heritage and cultures, while providing housing for this growing neighbourhood. 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 communities.
— Ian Gillespie