Project Name: 1 Lonsdale Avenue
Location: North Vancouver, British Columbia
Product: Obsidian by Interstate Brick
Architect: Hemsworth Architecture
Masonry Contractor: Dunbar Masonry
Photographer: Ema Peter
They say necessity is the mother of invention, and that was certainly the case for 1 Lonsdale Avenue. When it came time to replace the original building with a new, sustainable structure, challenges started sprouting up like weeds. Building code issues. Thermal bridging requirements. A fast-changing area with unpredictable needs.
But rather than producing failure, the pressure of these challenges inspired a new approach to construction that involved laying prefabricated panels over top of a mass timber structure. It also accelerated the construction timeline to a mere 10 days.
While the building is a marvel both inside and out, its most visible — and stunning — achievement is in the glazed brick facade. The panels were fashioned using Obsidian by Interstate Brick, a bold black brick with blue undertones. The look of the brick offered both a nod to the area’s working-class history while reflecting the changes it has undergone (and continues to undergo) since then. These subtly textured bricks put the finishing touch on the project, cutting a striking silhouette against the city landscape and turning the mass timber building into the area’s newest landmark.