• Vancouver, BC
  • Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
  • 15 hectares
  • 38 acres
DIALOG Services
  • Architecture
  • Planning & Urban Design
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Granville Island is one of Canada's most visited public places. Reborn from a longstanding industrial site, the 38-acre redevelopment was the brainchild of Norm Hotson and Joost Bakker, two young local architects with a vision for waterfront development. Its design engagement includes streetworks and open spaces, including: the Granville Island Hotel, Granville Island Brew Pub, the public market, restaurants and shops, artist studios, workshops and theatres, traffic and parking design, shoreline edges, children’s play features, and a water park. The strategic introduction of landscaping and intervention with the waterfront created a cultural heart for Vancouver. It is a place for respite and community celebration - it's a people place.

We were interested in the buildings and the stories they had to tell. We fought to give them new purpose and show people how special they could be - if used meaningfully.
Joost Bakker
granville island public market road vancouver sketch 01

It All Started With A Sketch

Four key elements Non-traditional retail space, the production of goods / education on site, authentic landscaping, and festival space.
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It All Started With A Sketch 01

Shifting the Island's energy ... is the fact that there are no loading docks or curbs.
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It All Started With A Sketch 02

The free flow of vehicles, bicycles, and foot traffic bring a natural energy to the site.
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Points Of Interest 01

Maintaining the historical character of the Island was a key success factor.

granville island public market park vancouver sketch 02

Points Of Interest 02

Rigorous design guidelines contribute to maintaining the original look and feel of the Island while encouraging authentic enhancement.

granville island public market dock vancouver sketch 03

Points Of Interest 03

Restoration and regeneration as a guideline have helped elevate the natural and historic feel, as well as the economy of the Island.

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Points Of Interest 04

In 2008, an updated Urban Design Plan for the next 20 years of development on Granville Island found areas where revenues could be augmented to offset rising operating costs. Cue artful parking lots...

Evoke DIALOG: Granville Island

Urban magnetism is delivered through the juxtaposition of unexpected uses.


1977 Award of Excellence, Canadian Architect Yearbook

1982 Best Neighbourhood in North America, Project for Public Spaces

1982 Design Award for the Regeneration, AIBC

1978 Award of Excellence, Canadian Architect Yearbook