A brand new “community porch” in downtown Vancouver’s dense urban core, Smithe and Richards Park may be small in size (less than one acre), but it will be huge in community impact. In what was formerly a parking lot, the new park has been designed by DIALOG to significantly improve the neighbourhood’s livability. It will serve the more than 25,000 residents and office workers who are within a five minute walk. Accordingly, the park includes a community plaza that will host events, an elevated bridge that will provide multiple vantage points, plus a cafe, seating and lighting installations.
Several park elements feature a zig zag pattern that inspired the Smithe and Richards Park playground. Three towers appear wrapped loosely in a ribbon that connects the towers both visually and functionally. The towers have multiple points of entry and egress, including two winding tube slides. The tower cladding was strategically designed to offer views in different directions, but also to ensure transparency for caregiver supervision. The towers are intended for older children while on the other side of the elevated bridge a lower-level junior ribbon climber is intended for younger playground visitors.