An Urban Oasis in the Heart of Vancouver’s Entertainment District
Multi-purpose PARQ complex provides a seamless link between all things Vancouver
ACDF Architecture + Architecture49, in partnership with IBI Group, invite Vancouver residents and visitors to experience PARQ, an urban oasis featuring a 72,000 sq. ft. casino, two luxury hotels, eight diverse restaurants, a fitness centre and spa, a 30,000 sq. ft. rooftop park and 60,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art meetings and event space.
“PARQ was conceived as the missing link between the active environment of BC Place stadium and the downtown core’s thriving entertainment district,” explains lead design architect Maxime Frappier. “We have put forward a design that not only fulfills that role, but which also captures the essence of the city and its breathtaking natural surroundings.”
Embraced by the trendy Vancouver neighbourhoods of Yaletown and Gastown, the mixed-use complex designed by ACDF + Architecture49 and IBI Group is a tribute to the city’s diverse natural and cultural environments. Beginning with design elements that embraced the stadium’s emblematic architecture, the team embarked on a journey to create a seamless flow that would extend from BC Place and PARQ, to the complex’s adjoining neighbourhoods and majestic landscapes. Defined by a myriad of lines, shapes, curves and slopes, PARQ’s design is comprised of multiple façades paying tribute to different elements of the complex’s surroundings. Its fluid forms and dynamic composition reflect the mountains, valleys, gorges and seascapes that frame the city. A curtain wall adorns the main façade, unveiling copper earth tones with shimmering louvers set in a pattern extracted from pixelated mountain images. As sunlight shines and repositions through the course of the day, the metallic louvers bring the building to life in animated ways, while their reflections ‘dance’ on the nearby waters of the Pacific Ocean.
Life behind the façade
Seamless connections between PARQ’s interior and exterior further extend the predominant theme. An abundance of clear glass and oversized windows connect patrons with the vibrant pedestrian flow and bike path traffic of surrounding city streets, while enticing passersby to enter the complex to sample one of eight restaurants and lounges, featuring a wide range of regional and provincial cuisines. Commercial space drives ground level activity, while abundant natural sunlight greets visitors looking to try their luck at the complex’s 72,000 sq. ft. multi-level casino. Spread across the second and third levels, Parq Vancouver’s casino includes 11 private salons, including four with balconies offering stunning city skyline views.
Getting down to business, Parq Vancouver offers more than 60,000 sq. ft. of multifunctional meeting and event space spread across the fourth floor. The facilities are comprised of boardrooms, flexible meeting spaces and 13 ballrooms, including the 15,604 sq. ft. state-of-the-art Parq Grand Ballroom, now the largest hotel ballroom in Vancouver.
Built to LEED Gold Standards, PARQ raises the bar on environmental considerations with its signature 30,000 sq. ft. outdoor, sixth level park. The lush, urban retreat, features more than 200 native pines and 15,000 local plants. The rooftop park’s Nordic flora and scenic mountain views provide a ‘disconnection’ within a sea of connections, offering moments of tranquility seemingly worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the streets below.
“The park adds a sustainable element to the project and is a model example of innovative use of green space,” says Maxime Frappier. “When you combine that atmosphere with the surrounding scenic views, it transports nature into the heart of an urban environment.”
A room with a view
Rising above the urban garden, PARQ is also home to two high-end hotel experiences, including Western Canada’s first JW Marriott. The hotels provide direct access to the casino, while contributing a wide range of complementary amenities including restaurants and lounges, meeting and event spaces, a spa and wellness centre and indoor parking.
The JW Marriott Parq Vancouver occupies the twin towers on the east side of the complex, with 281 guest rooms and 48 luxury suites, including a stunning split-level villa. The hotel also offers invigorating wellness and relaxation courtesy of the Spa by JW, a 17th-floor oasis featuring a steam room, a state-of-the-art fitness centre and personalized signature treatments using Aromatherapy Associate products. Spa by JW also offers the added serenity of the Aqua Lounge, an outdoor yoga space and hydrotherapy tub featuring inspirational views of the complex’s natural surroundings.
The newest addition to a dynamic portfolio of more than 100 Autograph Collection Hotels around the world, The DOUGLAS offers a seamless connection to the magnificent natural surroundings of the Parq complex. The 188-room property includes seven luxurious suites and three two-story lofts. Guest rooms are appointed with warm woods and task lighting, while in-room amenities include purely natural Aesop products and detoxifying charcoal water.
Nature abounds in the elegant surroundings of The DOUGLAS’ sixth-floor lobby, which connects to the complex’s rooftop park. A living green wall and 25-foot Douglas fir replica greet arriving guests, while the adjacent D/6 Bar & Lounge serves up a collection of signature handcrafted cocktails, including Douglas fir-infused gin.
Completed in 2017, PARQ exceeds the significance of merely planning, designing and constructing a multi-functional complex. The facility is a tribute to the City of Vancouver and its abundant natural attributes, while reflecting a respectful architectural vision that considers and complements adjoining developments in the surrounding area.
Client: Paragon Gaming, 360 Vox, Dundee Corp
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Construction started: June 2015
Opening date: October 2017
Program: 1 Casino, 2 Hotels, 5 Restaurants, 1 Gym, 1 Spa, numerous reception venues and an elevated park
Construction cost: $400M
Design Architect (schematic design and design development phases): ACDF Architecture / Architecture49
Lead Designer: Maxime-Alexis Frappier
Design Team: Maxime-Alexis Frappier, Robert Lapierre, Michel Panzini, Joan Renaud, Laurence Lebeux, Neil Melendez, Mathew Belaen, Evelyn Velghe, Virginie Pontbriand
Architect of Record: IBI Group
Principal in charge: Ron Eagleston, Architect, AIBC
Team: Mojan Nozari, Mike Watts, Architect, AIBC, Martin Bruckner, Architect, AIBC, Jeff
Christianson, Daniel Friesen, Omid Khodpanahi, Rahman Mahvash, Nadine Varahram, Negar
Hamidi, Pascal Jean-Mariet, Nabil Sallam, Fariba Mahmoodian, Damoon Azhary
Interior Design: Munge Leung, Celano Design Studio, Sarah Leinbach
Landscape Architect: PFS Studio
Mechanical Ingineer: Intégral Group
Electrical Ingineer: Nemetz and Associates Ltd
Structural Ingineer: Glotman Simpson
General Contractor: EllisDon
About ACDF Architecture
Montreal-based and globally focused, ACDF is one of Canada’s most energetic and exuberant young architecture firms. Over the past nine years, the studio has enjoyed a bold ascent and continues to complete even more ambitious, design-savvy projects on every scale, including commercial, residential, hospitality, interiors and master planning projects. Under the direction of Maxime-Alexis Frappier, Joan Renaud and Etienne Laplante Courchesne, the studio’s work is timeless and highly tailored, with trim lines and intelligent planning. Clever touches add levity – such as anamorphic patterns or unusual juxtapositions of materials that instill a sense of spirit.
The quality of ACDF’s projects has been acknowledged through the recognition of 30 awards and accolades, including a 2010 Canadian Governor General’s Award. Most recently, the ACDF team was granted the prestigious title of Architect of the Year in Canada (40 years and under), awarded by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. ACDF’s work has also been published worldwide.
Founded in 1955, Architecture49’s Montreal office (formerly Arcop) continues to mark the architectural landscape of Montreal, Quebec and Canada. The office has distinguished itself by mastering the construction of large-scale projects and solving complex architectural programs. Throughout its history, the firm has achieved multiple successes, notably in the design of new constructions, rehabilitation and reconstruction of existing buildings, including numerous hotel projects.
Our working approach promotes quality in all aspects of the design and implementation process of a project through a meticulous analysis of the complex elements that will have an impact on the built result. Architecture49 firmly believes that built architecture and its design process are inseparable.
Since 2014, Architecture49 has 10 offices and counts close to 300 professionals throughout the country, from Vancouver to Halifax.
About IBI Group
IBI Group is an international, technology driven, integrated team of architects, engineers, planners, designers and technology professionals. Motivated by a common desire to help their clients create livable, sustainable, advanced urban environments, their collaborative and combined approach focuses not only on creating the best solutions today, but also determining the right solutions for tomorrow.
From every facet of commercial real estate, including internationally recognized designers of high-rise mixed-use towers, IBI Group designs state-of-the-art hospitals, schools, transit stations, airports, bike lanes to parks. They design every aspect of a truly integrated city for people to live, work, and play.
Photograph: Ema Peter