Lead Firm: HCMA Architecture + Design
Completion: Alley-Oop (2016); Ackery’s Alley (2018)
Client: Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association
In a city where land value continues to rise, the More Awesome Now project creates public space by activating city laneways. Alley-Oop emphasizes play with bright colours, patios, and a basketball hoop. Ackery’s Alley, in the entertainment district, brings music and art to the street. It extends the red carpet and brass details of a nearby theatre into the laneway and features an art installation, mural, and paneling system that evokes a performance curtain.
“This project is an innovative role model that highlights both the design ‘hardware’ and programming ‘software’ needed to activate spaces successfully. The two laneway transformations retain the necessary utility uses and activate the spaces to be shared by both pedestrians and drivers. What makes these transformations hum with vitality is the addition of artful design elements. This compelling project shows us that with a sharing mindset single-use urban spaces can be vibrant social spaces.”