Project Waterfront: North Van Design Jam

The North Van Urban Forum Proudly Presents:

Project Waterfront: North Van Design Jam

Competition Brief

Map sourced from the City of North Vancouver:



The North Vancouver waterfront is evolving!  The lands south of Esplanade, from Lonsdale Quay to St Georges Avenue are under (re)development.  For years the City of North Vancouver has been considering numerous ideas for these lands, now referred to as the Central Waterfront, including recent discussions with Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver Museum and Archives, Capilano University and others.  Very little has yet been decided, and this area essentially represents a blank canvas at the heart of our thriving city.

Of particular interest is the former site of the Wallace Shipyards, a historic piece of land east of Lonsdale that was approved for development by the Pinnacle Hotel in 2001.  As part of the approval process, a significant chunk of property (Lot 5) was turned over to the City of North Vancouver and is currently awaiting direction for its design and redevelopment.

Lot 5 is now public land, and the North Van Urban Forum wants it to remain a vital community asset.  NVUF contends that this site has enormous potential to be a real source of pride in our community, a draw for tourists as well as a social/cultural/recreational hub for locals.  The City of North Vancouver has a process in place for the development of this site, and we want to ensure that the conversation be public, inclusive and inspirational.

The North Van Urban Forum wants ideas for the development of this site that we can share with the community, to really help drive this conversation.  Do you have a talent for design?  Do you have a passion for architecture?  Can you think of something really cool that could be built on this site?  We’re shouting out to design firms, design students, high school/elementary  students, North Van residents, visitors, architecture aficionados….  anyone with an idea that they would like to share.  We want to hear from you!  Submit your plan for Lot 5, and you could win fabulous prizes – as well as taking part in a historic and important conversation about the future shape of this community!

Unleash your creativity and submit a design brief* for the development of Lot 5 that clearly outlines your idea.  We’d like to see you represent your idea visually, but if you’d rather just write us an essay that’s okay too.  If you’re not going to be visual, please be clear, concise and as descriptive as you can.

The Details:
1) Your idea must be specific to Lot 5 and must take into consideration the space restraints/possibilities that the site represents.
2) Please give consideration to the location of the Flamborough Head (ships’s hull that currently occupies the North end of the site).  Feel free to move the ship around the site, but please try and incorporate it into your design plan.
3) Your design submission must be accompanied by a short written brief that explains your plans and supports your design ideas.
4) Entrants should be prepared to present their idea publically and answer some basic questions if required by the judges, at the public reception to be held Thursday, November 29 (date to be confirmed).  (Entrants ages will be given due consideration when being asked to present).

Suggestions for additional consideration:
– The City of North Vancouver Council has given direction to staff to consider the possible inclusion of a (partial) campus for the Capilano University on Lot 5.  In order to better match the City’s own plans, NVUF recommends considering how Capilano University might be incorporated into your design.

– Think about how the Spirit Trail might pass through, or around the site.  The City of North Van has indicated that the Spirit Trail is of primary importance, and so it should be reflected in your design.
– We want your creativity, first and foremost, but we live in a world that is restricted by financial concerns.  Special consideration will be given if designers wish to consider questions of economic viability (ie How will we pay for this, and how can we build it affordably?).  If you just want to focus on the design, that’s okay too!

Submission Format:
Only you know how your creativity manifests itself!  Build us a lego model, paint us a picture, design a 3 dimensional computer model, Google Sketch-Up it, use macaroni and glue.  If you have something to contribute to the conversation, we’re looking to hear from you.  Scale models would be great, but due to space/display restraints please limit the base size to a maximum of 2’x2’.

Fabulous prizes are up for grabs.  Local businesses, organisations and any philanthropic individuals are encouraged to create prizes that will be awarded at our public reception and award presentation.  Winning and shortlisted entries will be displayed publicly at the Cafe for Contemporary Art, as well as posted on the North Van Urban Forum website.  Qualifying entries will be submitted as part of a community initiated summary report of the competition to representatives of the City of North Vancouver.

How Prizes Are Awarded:
Winning and shortlisted entries will be awarded by a panel of independent judges.  Judging criteria will be based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to pure creativity, technical ability, visual appeal, historical resonance, and originality.
Depending on the range of submissions presented, special categories may be created to acknowledge the ages and skill levels of competition entrants.

The North Van Urban Forum is not an affiliate or official partner of the City of North Vancouver.  The City of North Vancouver is under no obligation to consider any of the entries within their own design and development process.  The ‘Waterfront Project: North Van Design Jam’ will be an opportunity to showcase your skills and creativity, and to be an active participant in the creation of a community.  And who knows….maybe your design will be too exciting to pass up!

Submission Deadline:

Saturday, November 24 2012.

Please contact one of the following to advise of your interest in submitting a competition entry, and to arrange for receipt of your submission:


Telephone: Benjamin Woodyatt (NVUF President) – (604) 771 – 6152
Tony Valente (NVUF Vice President) – (604) 971-0975
Tyler Russell (NVUF Director) – (778) 989-8325