The Marine Building Renovation

Art Deco revival

Office & Workplace

The rehabilitation of portions of the McCarter and Nairne-designed Marine Building juxtaposes vintage flare with modern elegance, bridging the past with the future. The building is a unique and glamorous element of Vancouver’s downtown cityscape. Its façade, with a sea life motif and its elegant entrance, is unparalleled in Vancouver. The lobby is an undeniable Art Deco masterpiece. To amplify its design, DIALOG was engaged by Oxford Properties to refurbish entrances, elevators, common areas, and the building’s marketable vacancies, including a JJ Bean café.

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Vancouver, BC
19,913 sq ft
Oxford Properties

Glasfurd & Walker

DIALOG Services

Interior Design
Mechanical Engineering

Entry sequence and main lobby

The lobby spaces are a clean, white canvas with four custom backlit brass panels.

Each panel reveals a story from the past.

Drawing inspiration from the building’s impressive façade and entry design, one of the wood species is carried into the lobby flooring with an Art Deco pattern.

Art deco in 3D

A basic Deco motif was selected, abstracted, and amplified in 3D forms in restrooms and the JJ Bean Café amenity space.

Restrooms in modernity

Restroom signage speaks to the past, with dark espresso-stained maple wood, frosted reeded glass inset, and hand-painted signage

Two restroom styles unfold throughout the building. The first is a bright material palette that uses marble hexagon mosaic floors and classic white subway tiles.

All original marble washroom dividers were re-purposed by pairing these slabs with espresso maple custom doors.

The second style is rich and grounding.

A custom walnut wall and ceiling offers pyramid shaped millwork – a modern take on the geometric details of Art Deco design. 

The Team

JJ Bean Café

The building’s ground level is occupied by a JJ Bean café

True to JJ Bean’s shape-shifting branding that mandates their café designs take cues from the community, the space is a tribute to Art Deco.

Two elements highlight the era: a dapper floor-to-ceiling motif, and a ceiling installation that brings 2D geometrical design into 3D form.


2016 Award of Merit, Partial OfficeIDIBC