South Granville Plaza West


Vancouver, BC

South Granville Plaza is an exploratory place of curiosity and wonder. Inspired by the old growth forests that once grew all over Vancouver, it offers a one-of-a-kind design intervention with a number of spaces to sit, catch one’s breath, or meet a friend, tucked just off this busy shopping throughfare.

hcma designed a series of dynamic repeatable wood components that create a variety of seating and shelter opportunities. The forms are an experiential expression of old growth tree-hollows, and their 4.5 to 6 metre diameters replicate the tall coniferous trees that historically grew on this land. The intervention both connects us to and encourages us to investigate the colonial and Indigenous histories of the site.

The wood elements organically weave along the street, providing shelter from the elements for year-round use. The variety of sizes enable individual, small, and large groups to gather to enjoy a meal or coffee, work, rest, watch a performance, and browse community markets. One of the enclosures is also used as a seasonal patio for the Stable House Restaurant. These programmatic functions were determined following input from community engagement.


Areas of impact

In addition to the seating and shelter structure, hcma designed a street mural that provides visual cohesion to the new plaza and enhances the experience of the forest. An abstract representation of the forest floor and dappled light, the bright and playful mural is made up of various shades of green. Inspired by the photoluminescence found in the forest, the mural will also use glow-in-the-dark paint to transform the experience of the plaza in the evening when an illuminated pathway is revealed.

A future phase will also see the installation of lighting into the canopy structures which will add further animation to this special place.

Other Projects