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Landscape
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Hapa Collaborative

Hapa Collaborative is a landscape architecture and urban design practice established with placemaking, attentiveness and collaboration in mind. We see each project as an opportunity to partner, to dream big and to synthesize ideas wrought from many, often opposing, influences. Our goal with each commission is to evoke the poetry of the place and in doing so reveal something delightful but perhaps previously unseen. Most of all, Hapa Collaborative is a new voice for contemporary landscape design and a small, agile and fresh alternative to traditional landscape architecture practice.

Hapa Collaborative works within the full breadth of scales from master plans to pocket parks, civic spaces to private residences, streetscapes to green roofs. However we like to specialize in landscape urbanism, integrated sites and community consultation processes. We like to explore new materials, forge new relationships and ultimately build places that people remember.

Hapa means many things: half, mixed, or hybrid; originally a pejorative term for someone of part Asian ethnicity and, by extension, anything shaped by the collision of cultural influences. Hapa can be defined as an intentional disturbance – an explosion – that creates space for something new. It is an apt description of Vancouver’s cosmopolitan complexity and an emblem of our own profession’s mixed pedigree: landscape and architecture, art and science, nature and culture. Hapa is also a Japanese word for ‘leaf.’
Our studio of ten designers is a daily collaboration between people with different backgrounds and training, and a mix of skills and specialization. We love the fact that this mix is present in our design process and is often realized in the final design direction in our work.

At Hapa we believe that an approach that embraces challenges and handles them deftly, creatively and collaboratively will result in the most delightful and unique solutions. We seek out opportunities that test these ideas with the hope and expectation that the exceptional experience of the public realm we all seek is the ultimate result.

Ponderosa Commons 
University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC

Role
: Landscape Architect
With
 KPMB Architects, HCMA
Client: 
UBC Properties Trust
Completed
: 2013

Hapa Collaborative is the landscape architect and urban design lead for Ponderosa Commons, a new public open space serving three new faculty buildings and 1100 new student residents at the western terminus of University Boulevard. The Commons will be the first of five new mixed-use hubs across campus and will house three student residential towers, space for the faculties of Fine Arts, Geography and Education, and a mix of cafes, galleries and collegium space. At a critical transition between the campus core and the western forest district, the Commons landscape is partitioned into three main spaces: the Bosque — a small contemplative space roofed by a grove of cherry trees; the Field — a larger open space that can be used for formal events or performances as well as everyday light recreation; and the Rooms — a series of classroom-sized spaces edged with a trellis/blackboard wall for instructional programming. Hapa is also coordinating the integration of the project site with adjacent existing buildings including Education, Theatre and Film and Continuing Studies. This will ensure full accessibility and coordination of site uses including loading and service access, shared plaza and courtyard spaces, and pedestrian and bicycle circulation.

Mid Main Park 
Vancouver BC

Role
: Prime Consultant, Public Consultation, Landscape Architect
With
 Equilibrium Consulting Inc.
, Watanabe Engineering, 
Aplin Martin Consultants ltd.
Client: 
Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation
Completed
: 2013

Hapa and the Vancouver Parks Board developed Mid-Main Park on a vestigial site where Main Street bends at 18th Avenue. Working with the Mount Pleasant community, Hapa developed a park design that provides a social hotspot on the Main Street promenade, integrates sustainable principles of tree protection and stormwater management, while also acknowledging the history of the site.
The park includes ample fixed and movable seating, a small mounded lawn, drought tolerant shade planting, and pervious paving that collects water into a subterranean infiltration gallery. The signature of the site is the bendy-straw trellis, a whimsical reference to the former Palm Dairy milk bar that occupied the site from 1952 to 1989.

Jim Deva Plaza Speaker’s Corner – Vancouver, BC

Role: Public Artist
Client: City of Vancouver
Completed: 2016

Hapa designed and coordinated the fabrication of a commemorative speakers’ corner feature located in the heart of Vancouver’s West End. The plaza, commissioned separately by the City of Vancouver, is a street conversion that connects the commercial activity of Davie Street to the residential stretch of Bute Street.

The commemorative sculpture pays tribute to the plaza’s namesake, Jim Deva, who was a beloved community member, a highly respected West End business owner and vocal advocate for free speech rights and equality in Vancouver’s LGBTQ2+ community. Inspired by the formal geometries of megaphones, gramophones, and flowers, the piece functions as a stage, a soapbox, an amplifier, a bubble machine and an umbrella, and has instantly become the signature of the plaza. The pink and turquoise colours represent the concepts of sexuality and art, which were included but ultimately removed from the rainbow flag emblem of the gay community.

The plaza also celebrates Jim Deva’s role as advocate for parks and open space in Vancouver, making the Jim Deva Plaza conversion – from street to plaza – a fitting dedication.

Foot of Lonsdale Public Plaza
North Vancouver BC

Role
: Landscape Architect
With 
Patkau Architects
, Presentation House Gallery
, ISL Engineering
Client: 
City of North Vancouver
Completed
: Phase One Completed 2016 (Lonsdale)
Ongoing

Hapa is completing public realm design work for the Foot of Lonsdale, a city-owned land and water lot between Lonsdale Quay and the new Shipbuilders Plaza to the east. Currently an underutilized site with a panoramic view to the Vancouver skyline, the proposed design will integrate open space improvements, a waterfront regional trail and plaza spaces associated with restaurant retail and the new Presentation House Gallery. Framed by the Coppersmith Shop and the Gallery, the design proposes a new public water feature with a range of active water elements that are visible from Lonsdale Street. The waterfront edge includes a widened Sprit Trail and a Megabench (now complete as part of Phase One), a large wood deck for viewing distant sunsets and the detail of the intertidal edge. The Cates Tug drydock will be repurposed as an intertidal parterre garden that captures and filter stormwater before returning it to Burrard Inlet.

Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza
Vancouver BC

Role
: Landscape Architect
With Nick Milkovich Architects, Matthew Soules Architecture
Client: 
City of Vancouver
Completed
: Ongoing

The redevelopment of the Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza is a rare and exciting opportunity for the city. Located at the heart of the City’s downtown, it has enormous potential to become the premier public gathering space for the citizens of and visitors to Vancouver. Our core team is comprised of Nick Milkovich Architects, Hapa Collaborative, Matthew Soules Architecture and Urban Forum Associates.
From the ancient acropolis to the 21st Century cosmopolis, the primary characteristic of a great plaza has remained constant: vibrant public activity. What is the fundamental ingredient of this activity? It’s not fancy architectural form. It’s not expensive materials. Quite simply, it’s people. Our approach re-orients design away from an emphasis on the inanimate physical characteristics of form and material to one devoted primarily to the means of enlivening space with social vibrancy. The design will be driven first and foremost by program to create a plaza that is alive.

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