January 22, 2016 7:52 pm
Updated: January 22, 2016 11:50 pm

Vancouver architects propose outdoor pool for Coal Harbour

WATCH: A new development could transform Vancouver's waterfront. Aaron McArthur explains where exactly Coal Harbour Deck could be built, where the idea comes from, and tells us the reaction it's generating.

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Could Vancouver’s next gathering point be literally in Coal Harbour?

A local architecture and design firm is proposing a multi-use outdoor pool for the area west of the Vancouver Convention Centre, turning it into an urban centre with the one of the most beautiful backdrops in Vancouver.

“It’s really about bringing the community together,” said Darryl Condon, the managing principal of HMCA Architecture + Design.

Their proposal would see Vancouver become home to North America’s first ‘Harbour Deck’. Popular in Copenhagen and Oslo, the area would be centred around an outdoor floating pool at the edge of Coal Harbour – but would also include an oval wooden boardwalking, wading areas, water hammocks, a raised bridge and a four-metre highplatform.

PHOTOS: Architect renditions of what the Harbour Deck would look like


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“It’s much more than a swimming pool that floats on the ocean…it’s really about the public space, the gathering space,” says Condon.

“As well as we do parks, and as well we have opportunities to connect to nature and trails, we rarely have the opportunity within the city to touch and engage with the water.”

HMCA, who have designed buildings in Vancouver that include Hillcrest Centre and the West Vancouver Aquatic Centre, are hoping their proposal kickstarts a conversation on how to better integrate the city’s waterfronts into public spaces.

“This is an idea…there’s no client behind this, there’s no money. We’re hoping through conversations that we’re kickstarting, that support will build, and that the power of the idea will encourage those with the power to bring an idea like this forward,” says Condon.

“We don’t expect it to happen overnight, but we think the people it will happen is by people saying ‘we do need to think about the waterfront differently.'”

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