May 26th, 2009
The Paris Block is one of several Salient/Gair Williamson Architects projects that are transforming Gastown into Vancouver’s center of artistic activism. Unit 303 at the Paris Block was conceived and executed by our team as a prototype for inner city living.
Holding a library, study, commercial kitchen, bedroom/gallery, and lounge with a 12’ dinning bar within 702 sq.ft., the apartment is only slightly wider than a parking stall.
Functioning as a live-work studio, the bed folds away, transforming the space into a gallery and event venue.
The unit contains a volume of storage that is three times the size of a standard condominium; Closets for coats, laundry, his/hers clothing, and a bathroom with a 10’ high shower.
In the long established tradition for completed GWA projects, a group of 28 B.C artists and film makers celebrated the completion with a spontaneous feast, before releasing the apartment into the community.
Unit 303 is a critical exploration into the larger issues pertaining to the architecture of affordable urban dwelling. This exploration is one of many undertaken in conjunction with Salient as we continue our investigations into urban densification.
Densification is fundamental to sustainable design; however, it often comes at the cost of dignity. As with other Salient/GWA projects, Unit 303 is an interpretation of how we can maximize livability in small urban spaces, within the context of the contemporary city.
To learn more about Gair Williamson Architects, please visit their website.