North Vancouver Museum Street Car

The Streetcar at North Vancouver Museum is in it's new home and looking proud! Currently it is sitting higher than it should, but once its lowered onto the trucks, more of the streetcar will be visible through the exterior glazing at the plaza level. David Walmsley from WCR is working with Nickel Bros to finalize the installation of trucks/tracks and the body of the car. The car will be protected by a fire resistant “box” later this week, where it will live until unveiled again next spring!

Photo Credit: Dianna Foldi

Photo Credit: Dianna Foldi

UAA is designing at the Aboriginal Land Trust Housing + Healing Centre Development for the heart of the Downtown Eastside!

UAA is proud to be the architect for the proposed Aboriginal Land Trust Housing and Healing Centre Development - an Indigenous-led mixed-use development focused on serving Vancouver’s Urban Indigenous community in the Downtown Eastside in partnership with Lu’ma Native Housing Society and Vancouver Native Health Society.

The project will include a Healing Centre operated by the Vancouver Native Health Society, 58 affordable rental units for Indigenous families with lower incomes operated by Lu’ma Native Housing Society, and 53 units of supported adult housing, operated by RainCity Housing Society. The project’s residential and healing spaces are being designed to meet the needs of Indigenous Peoples. Designed to welcome everyone with dignity, respect, honour and love, the new building will offer a safe and inclusive space where people can heal and flourish.

This project creates the opportunity to celebrate the rich history of the three host First Nations – and make visible what was made invisible by colonization. It will make space to honour the cultural and spiritual traditions that tell the stories of the land and its people and embrace all cultures and practices.

This project is an important step towards reconciliation and an opportunity to repair damage done by colonial actions. The project is being designed utilizing Indigenous protocols and guidance from Elders and Knowledge Keepers to develop the project vision, space program, and building design.

Radium Community Hall + Library Wins Canadian Green Building Award for Small Institution!

"Radium Community Hall + Library is the recipient of the 2019 Canadian Green Building Award for a Small Institution.

Urban Arts Architecture is proud to receive this prestigious award granted on the basis of not only exemplary environmental sustainability, but on the basis of its innovative social and economic sustainability.

The winning projects are fully published in the Summer issue of SABMag, and the digital version can be seen here.

SABMag also has an article up on their website about Radium, click here to check it out!

Urban Arts is thrilled to be working on phase 2 of the project - 'Radium Stadium' - a rink facility in the park adjacent to the award winning Community Hall.”

Photo Credit: Nic Taggart

Deep Dives: Women Designing Cities at the Women Deliver Conference

"Partner Jennifer Marshall participates in Deep Dives at the Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver on June 6, 2019. These sessions aim to connect the local Vancouver audience to gender equity issues through free talks and workshops.” Jennifer’s session was live-streamed, click here to watch it.

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Women Deliver Satellite Sessions 2019 | 275.jpg

Photo Credit: Ida Adamowicz

UNCEDED - Voices of the Land Exhibition at Canadian Museum of History

UNCEDED - Voices of the land features the innovative design talents of 18 Indigenous architects and designers in a breathtaking installation. Tlicho Dene architect Ouri Scott is one of 18 Indigenous architects and designers from across Canada and the U.S. who showcased her work as part of a collaborative exhibit at a prestigious competition in Venice, Italy.

The installation is now being showcased at the Canadian Museum of History and will run from May 3, 2019 to March 22, 2020. They are the first venue in Canada to host UNCEDED - Voices of the Land, following its successful debut in Venice. “This groundbreaking exhibition highlights the important contributions that Indigenous cultures have made to the world. It also underlines our commitment to promoting a greater understanding of Canadian and Indigenous history,” said Mark O’Neill, President and CEO of the Canadian Museum of History.

The Canadian Museum of History is located on the shores of Ottawa River in Gatineau, Quebec and welcomes approximately 1.2 million visitors per year. UNCEDED is presented with support from the Canada Council for the Arts, and will be on display until March 22, 2020. For more information please click here.


Photo by Cueyo Laux

Beachway's development sign is up!

Located in White Rock at the corner of North Bluff Road and Maple Street, the project vision is to create an affordable community within a 10 minute walk to the Semiahmoo Town Centre. The project will create a vibrant new community with a variety of housing types for “growing up and growing old” in the same neighbourhood, to support the diverse needs of White Rock residents. Buildings will be constructed from mass timber construction, implementing a pre-fabricated sustainable construction system that reduces construction time, enhances affordability, and sequesters carbon. The project provides community connectivity with open and engaging public realm spaces, including “the Beachway” - a public mid-block promenade that increases porosity of the neighbourhood by breaking down the scale of the large city blocks, enhancing the character of the built environment, and supporting the City of White Rock’s socially-oriented urban design principles.

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Radium Hot Springs Community Hall and Library

Our recently completed building, Radium Hot Springs Community Hall and Library has been featured on the Wood Design & Building website! The article highlights the use of Dowel Laminated Timber, Glulam to create a special community hub. To read the article, click here.

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Cowan Theatre Feasibility Study at the Shadbolt Centre

UAA is delighted to be working with the City of Burnaby on the Cowan Theatre Feasibility Study at the Shadbolt Centre.  Shelley worked on the Shadbolt Centre with Henry Hawthorn in 1992 as the design architect.  Henry sadly passed away earlier this year, and we feel honoured to continue his legacy through a review of the Cowan Theatre.  This area was not part of the 1992 25,000 sq ft addition.


Global Wood Buyers Mission

Shelley Craig presents our innovative mass timber buildings and consultation process at the Global Wood Buyers Mission in Whistler, Sept 6, 2018.  See the link to her presentation “100 Mile Building” here.

Photo Credit: Sandy McKellar

Photo Credit: Sandy McKellar

Radium Community Hall and Library opens!

The 8,000 sq ft Hall and Library, opened on August 25 with a large celebration with over 200 people in attendance.  The project was the result of a village wide stakeholder engagement process that commenced with a wood stakeholders meeting at the outset of the project to identify available trades in the valley.  The result is a “100 mile building” with over 80% of the construction contracts awarded within valley.  Wood innovation that resulted from the unique engagement process includes locally manufactured dowel laminated roof panels - a first for BC; and charred wood siding.  Much of the wood in the project was supplied by Canfor from the Radium mill.  The project was recently published on the Naturally Wood Website and has won the Woodworks! Community Recognition Award presented at UBCM (Union of British Columbia Municipalities) on September 12, 2018.

WoodWorks! Community Recognition Award

Radium Hot Springs Community Hall and Library wins the WoodWorks! Community Recognition Award at the 2018 UBCM (Union of British Columbia Municipalities). Leadership in structural and architectural wood use by local governments was recognized yesterday at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Convention in Whistler. Five local governments were presented with 2018 Community Recognition Awards for use of wood in their community projects by Wood WORKS! BC. The province-wide awards are presented annually to communities that have been exemplary advocates for wood. This may be demonstrated through the specification of wood in a community project and/or through visionary initiatives that work toward building a community culture of wood. For more information, click here.


Ouri Scott at the Venice Architecture Biennale

We are proud to announce that our very own Ouri Scott is currently at the Venice Architecture Biennale—"the Olympics for Architects" as she elegantly puts it—representing Canada with work she completed as part of the UNCEDED: Voices of the Land team! She uses the exhibition to explore what it means to be an Indigenous designer. Her interview with CBC news outlines the goals of the project:

"That message is that we come from the land, that we've been here since time immemorial and that the land and a relationship with the land is really important to us in the work that we do as architects, as designers."

The work is on display in Venice until late November.  Congratulations Ouri!

Photo by Cueyo Laux

Photo by Cueyo Laux


North Vancouver Museum Update

The North Vancouver Museum is a vital addition in the larger redevelopment of the Lower Lonsdale Cultural District. It will be prominently located adjacent Carrie Cates Mews and Esplanade Ave, inviting the public in to discover the rich ecological and cultural heritage of North Vancouver. Urban Arts Architecture is completing a design that reflects the identity of North Vancouver through the use of natural materials and clean, modern detailing providing a fitting home for the important exhibits and artifact to be displayed therein. The museum features both Permanent and Temporary Galleries in addition to a Flex Space and Multi-Purpose Room that will provide public, bookable spaces for a broad range of events. The Lobby has been designed as a ‘public living room’  featuring an original commissioned cedar carving by local First Nations Artist, Wade Baker in addition to the refurbished electric street car that operated nearby in the early decades of the 1900s.  The Project also includes the new Administrative Offices for the Museum and Archives. The Museum will be open to the public in 2019.

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We have moved!

UAA is excited to announce that we have moved into our new office space! We have relocated our office across the street to #300 - 111 Water Street. We are loving the new space and look forward to sharing photos soon!

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Her Story in Focus

On November 3rd our team attended ‘Her Story in Focus’ at the Vancouver Art Gallery, in support of the Women’s Centre in the Downtown Eastside. There was a silent auction, a live auctioneer, and a fashion show, accompanied by canapés, wine and delicious desserts. The fashion show featured women from the Women’s Centre walking in the fashion show, wearing a garment that they designed from resources that were donated to the centre. Some of our favorite looks were the hand-beaded traditional dress outfits, which showcased beautiful workmanship. Mayor Gregor Robertson also attended the event, giving each woman who walked the runway a rose during the finale. We are very excited to hear that they exceeded their goal of $35,000 and raised $50,000 going towards safe space, basic needs, and empowering support for women of the Downtown Eastside!

Update on Radium Community Hall

The prefabricated Dowel-Laminated-Panels (DLT) are currently being installed on site.  Manufactured locally by International Timberframes Inc., the framing will be completed in under two weeks. The DLT structure is comprised of a modular series of prefabricated panels of alternating 2x6 and 2x4 giving a variegated texture to the ceilings in the Library and the Community Hall. Click through the images below to see the emerging structure.

Ouri Scott part of the UNCEDED team!

Just announced, our own Ouri Scott is a part of the UNCEDED team selected to represent Canada at the 2018 Venice Biennale of Architecture. UNCEDED is an Indigenous design project led by Douglas Cardinal that includes indigenous architects from across Turtle Island, speaks to the unrelinquished traditional territories of Canada’s First Nations, Metis and Inuit people. In as much as this artistic contribution is about arriving from afar onto the shores of the Giardini-Arsenale — it is also about ceasing to go away. Learn more about UNCEDED at

Kelowna Main Branch Library in Action

Kelowna Main Branch Library renovation opened in March this year and has been widely embraced by the community.  Read the description below of one days activities from Christine McPhee, Head Librarian!

"Yesterday was a very exciting day at the Kelowna Library – and in the midst of all the hard work that everyone has and is continuing to put in to this branch, it’s worth taking a minute to reflect on the impact of all that work.

I arrived at work yesterday afternoon to wander into the Pop-Up Makerspace to find Mark Reinelt, Amy Wright and Keenan Farquharson hosting the First Page Book Club (a reading club for adults with diversabilities that meets weekly at the branch) in the Makerspace – they all made laser etched and cut bookmarks out of wood on the laser cutter, and got their pictures taken in front of the green screen wearing a pirate hat so we could transport them to the deck of a pirate ship using the green screen app on our iPad! They loved it! 

It was the 8th day the Makerspace has been open this month and we again had over 50 people through – some return visitors who have become regulars – and most of whom stayed in the space for over an hour trying all the different stations.

In the afternoon we started the second of a series of workshops we are doing with Work BC – Resume writing, cover letter writing, and interview skills. The first resume writing workshop had only one attendee – yesterday we had 6! Work BC is very pleased with the result and is excited to keep developing this series in partnership with us. We have identified that Work BC is only able to work with people who already have a base level of computer skill so there is an opportunity for us to deliver a “pre-requisite” basic computer course that they would refer people to – we are working on that now.

In the evening, Jamie hosted our regular crowd of gamers – 28 people were there, including a few families who have become regulars – sharing their love of gaming in community.

We also hosted a World Refugee Day event in partnership with KCR and Central Okanagan Local Immigrant Partnership – a screening of the film Taaloo Zorouna “A Visit with our Syrian Neighbours” made by a faculty member at UBCO in which she interviewed several families who recently settled in the Okanagan from Syria. Mayor Colin Basran attended to open the event, along with a couple of the families in the film and the film maker. There were 60 people in attendance to learn about and offer support to the new refugee families living among us, and the space and the projection were perfect – even on a bright sunny evening.

The Spanish Language Intercambio group – who are already outgrowing our new meeting rooms – had a full house last night of 12 people. This group has grown from a few English speakers practicing Spanish to a nice mix of native English and native Spanish speakers learning both languages in cooperation. And finally, a Community Support Group was also meeting in the branch in one of our new meeting rooms.

We had a total of about 185 people in programs / meetings yesterday (without any children’s programming running!) – but those numbers don’t tell the story of the diverse range of activities, and the diversity of communities we are supporting in Kelowna. 

And this was just one day. Kelowna Library is an amazing place to be most of the time – but it was extra specialyesterday so I thought I’d share. None of this would be happening without the support we’ve had to renovate this space to meet community needs, and without the amazing staff who build community and relationships one customer interaction at a time."