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Saturday, December 9, 2023

Indigenous transformation lodge proposed near Main and Hastings

Vancouver Native Housing Society (VNHS) is proposing a “Transformation Lodge” to help those transitioning from homelessness or those at risk of homelessness.

The eight-storey building, to be located at 327 Main Street near East Hastings Street, will include 78 units of social housing, as well as a rooftop amenity and ceremonial space. The architects are GBL.

The building will be a hybrid mass timber structure composed of cross-laminated timber (CLT) floors, steel columns and a concrete core. The façade design is inspired by Indigenous storytelling, highlighting the legend of “The Spider and the Snail”, which is a prominent featured design motif in Indigenous basket weaving traditions. There will be a large internal courtyard with a mural wall, and Maple and Cedar trees planted within the courtyard.

Renderings: Indigenous-led housing in the Downtown Eastside

Courtyard view from future building at 327 Main Street
Courtyard view from future building at 327 Main Street. Credit: GBL Architects
Façade detail, showing outdoor amenity on rooftop
Façade detail, showing outdoor amenity on rooftop. Credit: GBL Architects
Façade detail at street level
Façade detail at street level. Credit: GBL Architects

This project considers “affordability” to mean that households will pay less than 30 per cent of gross income on housing costs or the shelter component of any provincial income assistance as an equivalent. 

According to the development application design rationale, the building will have 24/7 staffing, including wraparound support services, as well as cultural resources and programs targeted towards Indigenous people at risk of or currently experiencing homelessness with units specifically identified for women in need.

The building will also include a ground-level community serving retail space, a need identified by the Downtown Eastside community. A commercial loading stall and covered parking area will be provided on the laneway.

The development site is within the Downtown Eastside/Oppenheimer District.

View looking southwest on Main Street
View looking southwest on Main Street. Credit: GBL Architects

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Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner
Peter Meiszner is an experienced journalist and media relations professional, based in Vancouver. As founder of urbanYVR.com, he has been reporting on urban development across the Lower Mainland since 2016, and has also served as vice-chair of the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee. In October 2022, he was elected to Vancouver city council and is no longer actively reporting for urbanYVR.

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