The dynamic South Creek Landing mixed-use building in Vancouver, Canada, features a number of groundbreaking design elements which, according to Planning Director Brian Jackson, make it one of the 15 best buildings in Vancouver. Its layered sweeping facade was designed to maximize passive solar shading, provide privacy and optimize light penetration to the interior. Arno Matis Architecture used a responsive design strategy in order to manage the oddly-shaped site and create a building that will work with, not against external forces.
Combining concrete, metal and glass, the building evokes some of the expressionist principles of Erich Mendelsohn’s Dynamism. The free-form steel spandrels reference the nearby road bridgehead site, act as privacy screens and block the noisy surroundings. The light-reflecting colored glass increases the amount of natural light reaching the interior.
The overall shape of the building makes it appear as a product of its surroundings, as if it was carved out by the street, sun path and wind. The resulting volume augments passive horizontal and vertical sun shading while providing optimal square footage. Landscaped street edges facilitate pedestrian movement and direct it toward the adjacent transit station. The full effect of movement is completed by a dynamic light installation by artist Tamar Frank.
Photos by Michael Elkan, Ed White