Multifunctional Art Space “THE Polygon Gallery” | The Plan
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Multifunctional Art Space “THE Polygon Gallery”

Suspended Art Showcase

Patkau Architects

Multifunctional Art Space “THE Polygon Gallery”
By Caterina Testa -
Duravit, Guardian Glass have participated in the project

Vancouver is the largest and southern-most metropolitan area on Canada’s Western coast. Sheltered from the Pacific Ocean by the mass of Vancouver Island, it grew up along the banks of Burrard Inlet, one of the deepest of many inlets and bays along the coast of the mainland. The city center lies on the south bank, while an industrial port developed on the north shore of the Inlet.

Ideal physical and climate conditions led to Vancouver becoming Canada’s largest port and one of North America’s most important trading hubs with Asia. Over the years, this key economic sector underwent far-reaching transformation that led to relocation, leaving large swathes of waterfront available for urban renewal.

The city of North Vancouver, home to the historic Presentation House Gallery, chose one of these decommissioned areas near the waterfront as the site for its new gallery. The undisputed standing of this independent cultural institution made it a natural dialogue partner with the public authorities when the urban renewal policy for the whole area was adopted. It was decided that rather than just a response to the particular site, the new Polygon Gallery - designed by Vancouver-based Patkau Architects - would be more a
site-maker, setting the tone for the rest of the quarter’s revitalization.

The plot in question faces the waterfront alongside Lonsdale Avenue - North Vancouver’s main thoroughfare - on a crossroads earmarked to become the focal point of the urban fabric north of the port. Coursing down the plain to the north that slopes down to the sea from the mountains, the Avenue flows into the broad plaza giving onto the waterfront. In keeping with this urban layout, the Polygon’s design is all about openness and permeability in the newly created public seafront space. A transparent, deeply recessed ground floor supports a much larger cantilevered upper level that seems to hover over the public...

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