The Shipyards

Connecting North Vancouver's waterfront

Civic & Culture

The Shipyards is a world-class mixed-use development on the North Vancouver waterfront. It boasts an unparalleled public realm that completes a series of interconnected plazas, transit routes, and recreational spaces. The site is named after the Wallace Shipyards, which date back to the first world war. A reimagined machine shop, known as “Shipyard Commons”, is the centerpiece of the design. This covered outdoor gathering space is a premier local and regional attraction that celebrates the character of the site and its spectacular location.

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Location
North Vancouver, BC
Client
Quay Property Management Corp.
Completion
2019
Collaborators

Bunt & Associates
Core Group Consultants
Darwin Construction
Evolution Building Science
Geopacific Consultants
HAPA Collaborative
PGL Environmental Consultants
WSP
BKL Consultants Ltd.

DIALOG Services

Architecture
Mechanical Engineering
Structural Engineering

Completing the waterfront

The Shipyards Commons (left), along with a new hotel and restaurant space (right), tie the North Vancouver waterfront together.

Paying homage to the past

The current design for Shipyards Commons came directly from the original Wallace Shipyards machine shop building, which dates back to the early 1900s.

Abandoned, not forgotten

The machine shop stood empty for decades. The project team hoped to be able to use the building’s steel skeleton, but it had to be torn down because it wasn’t structurally sound.

Right on the waterfront

Shipyards Commons and the new hotel and restaurant space front onto the north side of Vancouver Harbour, next to the Burrard Dry Dock pier

A venue for every season

Shipyards Commons is a covered open-air space that is perfect for summer festivals. A retractable awning can be extended to provide additional shelter during inclement weather.

Modern meets historical

The newly designed hotel and commercial space at The Shipyards elegantly combines the neighbourhood’s modern design elements to the historical character of this waterfront space

A space for all seasons

The open-air Shipyards Commons space will feature a covered water park in the summer and ice skating rink in the winter. It can also be used for large public gatherings.

Looking out to downtown

Shipyards Commons faces downtown Vancouver and opens onto the water park and public gathering space. It will attract locals and tourists who take the ferry over from downtown.

The Team

The Shipyards offers a public amenity that is distinctly North Vancouver, and promises to be a regional attraction for a new generation in this historic precinct.

Shane Oleksiuk, Project Architect
Connecting the waterfront

The Shipyards (originally, Lot 5) rounds out the North Vancouver waterfront and the redevelopment of the versatile waterfront precinct (rezoned by DIALOG). It brings much-needed animation to the site.

Open access to many shared spaces

The Shipyards uses an open concept design that offers easy access to nearby amenities and services.

Incorporating multiple user groups

The new Shipyards includes hotel (gold), commercial (pink), and community amenity (purple) spaces.

Monument to North Vancouver's past

Development in the Lower Lonsdale area sprouted up around North Vancouver’s historic shipyards.

Framing the redevelopment

The original steel structure didn’t meet code requirements, but did provide design inspiration.

An integral piece of the puzzle

Shipyards Commons, with its long red roof, fits in amongst all of the Lower Lonsdale redevelopments.

Winter fun on the waterfront

Shipyards Commons will play host to a skating rink for much of the winter season. It will be one of two outdoor skating rinks in the Vancouver area, and is considerably larger than the other.

An open space for the community

Community groups will be able to use Shipyards Commons for a whole host of activities and events.

A novel commercial space

Shipyards tenants include a hotel, restaurants, retail stores, and a university satellite campus.

Vestiges of the past everywhere

The site is right beside one of the original yellow gantry cranes from the Wallace Shipyards.

Fun for the whole family

The kids’ water park, along with adult-friendly amenities, makes this an ideal family destination.

Awards

2021 Award of Excellence, Design ExcellenceArchitecture Foundation of British Columbia
2021 Excellence on the Waterfront – Top Honour AwardThe Waterfront Center