Project Essentials

  • LocationVancouver, BC
  • ArchitectPerkins + Will
  • ClientInform Interiors

Vancouver’s earliest beginnings can be traced to its historic Gastown neighbourhood – the cobblestone streets and heritage façades dating between 1886 and 1914 have been designated for protection from bulldozers and radical new development.

As such, the seismic and structural upgrades at 44 and 50 Water Street were governed by the Gastown Heritage Management Program, which indicated the existing facilities were to be fully renovated while retaining the original timber-frame structures and heritage façades.

Fast + Epp’s structural solution combines heavy mass concrete, brick and wood materials. Nearly every existing element of these three-storey buildings was reconstructed to ensure its seismic and structural safety, and to incorporate modern sustainable building features such as a green roof and outdoor social spaces – all while preserving their Water Street-facing heritage façades.


The completed buildings now serve as multi-use live/work spaces with light commercial applications on the ground floor such as an art gallery, fashion boutique and restaurant.