800 Granville

Vancouver, British Columbia
A Bold Vision for Granville Renaissance

Once the neon capital of North America, famous for its bustling nightlife, downtown Vancouver’s entertainment district centred around Granville Street has been waning in recent years—the result of aging buildings, infrastructure, and natural wear and tear. But renewed interest in cultural activities and nightlife within the City has set the stage for a renaissance of the Granville strip, propelled by the bold re-envisioning of key cultural and entertainment venues like those at 800 Granville.

Our proposal for 800 Granville is envisioned as a juxtaposition between old and new, celebrating Vancouver’s heritage and the arts. It includes the complete preservation of the legendary Commodore Ballroom, the creation of new performance and support spaces to support the viability of the Orpheum Theatre, the retention of five heritage façades, and a design that speaks to the street’s historic neon signs and eclectic character. This is all paired with more than 400,000 SF of much-needed flexible office space which will fuel activity throughout the day and into the night.

A unique opportunity to permanently boost the prospect for city culture, life, and business on Granville Street.
800 Grandville_EAST
The gently ascending form creates a distinctive new silhouette for the city, and allows a sensitive addition to the street. While floating above the street, the office addition is shaped to preserve views of the Vancouver Block clock tower and create an outstanding workplace with south-facing stepped outdoor terraces.
The planar and restrained new infill sits back from the property line to announce the three-dimensional reading of the Commodore.
Three diagrams showing different programme components of the 800 Granville project.
A complete preservation of the Commodore Ballroom is a key aspect of our proposal. A series of 150' long structural mega-truss members span directly above the Commodore to enable us to achieve this goal.
Enabling the Conservation of Heritage Architecture

The 800 block is one of the most complete blocks of heritage buildings on Granville Street, but only one of the buildings has an official heritage designation. The design proposal ensures the conservation of all five heritage resources on the site, while being purposeful with the new addition. The retained Service Building, Cameron Block, Clancy Building, State Hotel, and Commodore complex maintains the “sawtooth” pattern that is characteristic of the historic development of this block. Sitting between the heritage base and office form, a striking one-storey reveal is set back from the street, emphasizing the detailed heritage façades.

Elevation drawing of the 800 block of Granville Street showing the heritage assets of the street.
Rendering looking down Granville Street from the elevated cultural terrace.
Stretching one city block long, the column-free timber soffit creates a warm and welcoming experience, providing a sensible buffer between the heritage base and office above.
Section diagram showing the new 'cultural transition zone' of 800 Granville.
Cultural Transition Zone
A 320-seat multi-purpose performance hall (2) is suspended over the Commodore Ballroom (1) by a series of 150 foot-long mega truss structural members.
Celebrating the Evolution of our Collective Culture

Granville Street, where the 800 Block is situated, has been in a constant state of evolution for nearly 150 years. In such a culturally evolving context, the 800 Block is intended to preserve and revitalize the cultural heritage of the street and the city, informing the future by acknowledging the past. As a new space for culture and live entertainment, the multi-purpose performance venue has a built-in synergy with the Orpheum and Commodore, complementing the two entertainment anchors of the street; securing the future of the Commodore, and enabling the Orpheum to thrive with much needed rehearsal and back-of-house space. As a comprehensive redevelopment, the proposal ensures accessibility for all, and will return the 800 Block to its place as the heart of culture in the downtown.

Office interior looking North-East
Using a ‘fabric-first’ approach, the project reduces the energy required to operate the building through a high-performance triple-pane curtain wall system while maximizing occupant comfort and access to views and daylight. Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification as a low emissions green building, the design proposal meets stringent energy, carbon, and water targets.
A New Landmark
The 800 Block will not be confused with ordinary downtown development and commensurate with the dynamic nature of the street. It will be a source of pride for the City of Vancouver.

Project Team

Ryan Bragg
Adrian Watson
Derek Newby