PROJECT UPDATE: Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Centre

Construction is ongoing and nearing completion at the Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Centre. We are eager to see the finishing touches transform the project in the coming months.

Here are some early views that begin to hint at the final project: the Atrium recently had its acoustic baffle and audio-visual equipment installed on the ceiling, and brick veneer + concrete overlay flooring are to follow. At the roof terrace, cladding still remains to be completed, and landscaping + pavers will round out the finishes to bring it all together. Cladding is also well underway on the main entrance to the building, and we are eager to see the tube screen installed to complete the massing.

In the Yoga + Healing Touch & Fitness space, we can see lovely south light bouncing off the chamfered window jambs and are excited for the millwork finishes to be installed to add a touch of warmth to the change room walls. When the sun isn’t shining in the atrium stair skylight, the lighting strips will illuminate the main feature stairs.

Stay tuned as the project continues to transform and come to completion!

PROJECT UPDATE: Ash + 52/54 Townhouses

One of our largest townhouse projects on the boards at the moment, 52nd/54th Ash Street is progressing well. Spanning four city blocks, this scheme required a thoughtful and considered approach to massing to create a coherent and varied streetscape. The project subverts the traditional plot orientations typically found along the Cambie corridor by strategically locating density along the lane side and inverting the private spaces in between to create a central landscaped courtyard space for residents to enjoy.

These interstitial spaces allow for greater porosity throughout the site and are enlivened by bioswales which follow the natural topography of the site. A mixture of unit typologies will cater for a variety of residents, creating a dynamic environment and community.

PROJECT UPDATE: Cardero Street

SHAPE Architecture have been developing a unique heritage revitalization and urban densification project in Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood. This project aspires to retain two Class B heritage houses on an extremely constrained site by realigning them with their neighbouring house to the north thereby liberating a space in the rear yard for an adjoining contemporary infill house.

The scheme seeks to deliver 5 new family orientated dwellings as well as a commercial retail unit on the corner of Jepson-Young lane. Our approach has been guided by best practice conservation strategies which seek to protect, retain and replace-in-kind the original fabric of the existing buildings. Additionally, the design is enhanced by juxtaposing the historic Edwardian-era features with a smaller, modern intervention that takes ques from the original form of these houses and boasts clean lines with a neutral complimentary material palette.

AWARD: South Haven Cemetery Awarded Architecture MasterPrize 2020

SHAPE Architecture’s South Haven Cemetery was recently awarded an Architecture MasterPrize 2020 as Best of Best in Cultural Architecture category.

The Architecture MasterPrize™ (AMP) honors designs in the disciplines of architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture with the goal of advancing the appreciation of architecture worldwide. Each submitted design was evaluated by the esteemed AMP Jury, and the best projects were selected across 42 categories. Click here to find out more information.

PROJECT UPDATE: Construction Starts

Construction is currently underway on two of our projects: (1) Fairfield Townhouses and (2) King Edward + Manitoba Townhouses. For our Fairfield Townhouses project, excavation has begun to take place and the work on site is currently in-progress (see first three images).

On our King Edward + Manitoba Townhouses project, a tight schedule has been balanced with great attention to detail to allow for expedition of the concrete installation project. By shotcreting the majority of the concrete on-site, formwork is able to be saved—thus requiring half the quantity and less installation labour.

Stay tuned as we continue to develop the below-grade concrete work over the next few weeks!


Last fall, SHAPE Architecture took part in two public open houses for an up-and-coming project located on the border between Royal Oak and Carey in Saanich. The rezoning proposes a 21,400 sq. m. new development consisting of 251 rental units and affordable housing. Amenities such as childcare, café, and office units will be integrated in a large external public space characterized by a strong landscaped route created through the site as well as an elevated open air public realm. Stay tuned as the project develops its sustainable approaches—both in terms of social inclusion and interaction, as well as energy and performance.

Artists in Collaboration

For a long time, architects and artists have maintained an ambivalent relationship – collaborative work between the two is often seen as a process of transformation for both parties within their respective fields. However architects and artists share a lot of similarities, both share the ability of transferring what’s on their minds into existence. They both deal with the same lines, shapes and forms. They also both deal with the same elements of nature; color, light, space and time.

SHAPE Architecture have been privileged to collaborate with variety of artists from various backgrounds over the years. The iterative process of each artist’s work is always of interest to us and often mimics that of our own. The images featured here represent a small snapshot into this process and output. At Newton Recreation Centre, Sean Alward has ceramically etched a repeating fern pattern onto the curtain glazing to respond to the adjacent grove of trees whilst creating a dappled lighting condition internally. While Brendan McGillicuddy’s ‘Veil’ artwork on the glazing at South Haven Cemetery poignantly helps to create a reflective atmosphere and space for people to mourn.

The inclusion of such works in our projects can be seen as being mutually beneficial; the architecture hosts or frames the artwork just as much as the artwork enhances the experience of the architecture.

PROJECT UPDATE: Moodyville Townhouses

The display home is now open for our Moodyville Townhouses project! Located in North Vancouver’s Moodyville neighbourhood, The Morrison is a 31 unit townhouse development that evokes an inviting and robust lifestyle from within. Two rows of townhouses are oriented north to south and separated by a semi-public space to connect visually to the building interiors and invites opportunities for meeting. By considering the figure and ground as equality important, the former is used to shape the latter while allowing sufficient access to daylight and views within and beyond.

The concept was originally inspired by the mews row housing where Principal Architect Alec Smith had lived during his time in London. To learn more about this diverse mix of unit types (e.g., townhouses, stacked townhouses, two bedroom maisonettes and lock-off units), you can check out our project page or visit this link.

PROJECT UPDATE: 1037 West King Edward

The construction stage is well underway on this 100% affordable rental development comprising of a combination of townhouses, stacked homes, and apartments. Sitting atop a single floor of a concrete structural parkade, the building consists of a 2-storey wood frame residential component to the west that steps up to 4-storeys along the east to match commercial density across a commercial lane. While the majority of the structure has now been completed, a lot of mechanical and exterior envelope work is beginning to take place on site.

Stay tuned to see more progress on these much-needed two and three bedroom units catering to families in this centrally located neighbourhood in Vancouver.

PROJECT UPDATE: Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Centre

The Canadian Cancer Prevention and Survivorship Centre is currently under construction and is set to be completed in the new year. Today we’re highlighting a feature element of the project: the Atrium Stair. This celebrated stair is at the heart of the building, providing a necessary link between housed patients and support staff. The stair is programmed with breakout spaces at each level to allow for moments of repose, chance encounter, and social interaction between groups.

A major design precedent was M.C. Escher’s Penrose Stairs, also known as the “impossible stair.” Its two-dimensional depiction creates a continual illusive loop. Drawing from this concept, the Atrium Stair is designed to travel in both a clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. This change in rotation along the path of travel fosters a moment of pause and provides aspect onto the atrium below.