Vancouver is a city shaped and defined by its lumber industry. The city’s history is deeply tied to this resource and often its presence in the cultural consciousness of the city is latent. This project outlines a Vancouver narrative about the city’s systems and development which have paved the way for the housing system we know today. This narrative is based around the truth of the problem of architectural waste in this city, and the outcome is a multi-fold systematic solution to the problem. It frames the project in a context that separates it from what can be done today, and rather what should be done moving forward. It’s a chance to view architecture’s complicit relationship with materials - as explicit. This project takes on issues that many cities can relate to, though due to this city’s past, present, and potential future conditions, this project is suited for Vancouver Especially.

This project outlines the system to be put in place that would respond to the outcome of the Vancouver narrative. Capital gains are now contingent on responsible waste management. Wood, the major outlier in the residential teardown waste system, would now be a harvestable resource rather than an impediment to free-flowing capital - to be burned.

The core elements to this system are phased deconstruction hubs around the Lower Mainland. The central hub is located on Mitchell Island, the origin point of Vancouver’s industrial axes. Instead of being torn down on site, homes are transported to these hubs to be disassembled.

The goal of this system is to separate the materials of each and every house and to harvest the wood that typically goes to waste. The carbon in this lumber is to be reconstituted into new building materials to remedy Vancouver’s lack of housing density. In effect, the more homes that are torn down, the more mid-rise residential buildings would be constructed.

Joe Dahmen
Blair Satterfield [CHAIR]
Zahra Teshnizi