"Eighteen months have now passed since the inaugural run of the new Canada Line, which connects the cities of Vancouver and Richmond with the Vancouver International Airport, and has already reached the capacity ridership anticipated for five years hence."
-- Sean Ruthen, writer for Canadian Architect
The Canada Line was featured in Canadian Architect's March magazine, and covers five of our stations, along with stations designed by other architecture firms. To read the article, you either need an online subscription, or need to request a copy of the magazine.
Our firm provided master planning for the line, and completed prototypical work for all 17 stations, including each station's schematic design. Here is a feature of the inspiration and ideas behind the three underground stations: Yaletown, Vancouver City Centre, and Waterfront, and the two elevated stations: Marine Drive and Bridgeport.
Underground StationsThese three downtown stations represent rail, road, and the sea, and we tried to make a reflection of each of those ideas in very subtle ways.
Yaletown -- Rail
Yaletown Station pulls its inspiration from the historic Yaletown loading docks in the design of its roof canopy (as seen in the photo below):
It expresses the rail by using continuous horizontal bands of colored accent tile. We knew that the architecture needed to be receptive to advertising and art, so we placed the patterning so that they would become a backdrop:
Vancouver City Centre -- Road
Vancouver City Centre Station was inspired by the intersection of Georgia and Granville. Once you get down into the station, the accent tiles on the walls were randomly spaced, like the pattern of cars on a road. And just like Yaletown, there isn’t a pattern that would be “blocked” by the ads. And like randomness, you can go any which way.
Waterfront – Sea
Waterfront Station tells the story of the water that comes into a tidal pool as seen in the arched wave feeling on the ceiling:
The tile pattern throughout the station has blocks of blue color, which represent pools of water:
Elements of Continuity:
Waterfront and VCC: both had granite frames; stone band with a window in the middle
VCC and Yaletown: wood roof
Elevated StationsThe following two elevated stations addressed the industry located on either side of the Frasier River.
Marine Drive Station -- Pioneer Logging Industry
Marine Drive Station took its cue from the saw mills and planing mills down at Eburne. Portrayed as a “launching pad” where the tunnel comes above ground (visualize being on a log ride at the county fair).
Actual exit to Marine Drive station
Log Ride at a County Fair :)
Very streamlined, dynamic, industrial-oriented form:
Bridgeport Station -- Air
Inspired by the ships and the early days of airplane manufacturing, Bridgeport Station's original design had a curved roof that was based on the mosquito warplane.
*images and renderings copyright VIA Architecture. Please do not use without permission.
*Professional photographs taken by Ed White