Formerly an opulent Victorian period hotel constructed in 1887, Alhambra is located in the historic Gastown core of Maple Tree Square in Vancouver. Fronting Blood Alley, Alhambra is part of the two storey Byrnes Block, situated at the irregular intersection of Water, Alexander, Powell and Carrall Streets. It is one of Vancouver’s oldest and most precious buildings.
Designed to LEED Silver equivalent, the structure features existing masonry clay brick, heavy timber, glass and steel framing, consisting of 27,000 square feet of commercial space with retail dedicated at grade and office at the second level. A contemporary glass elevator and pedestrian bridge two stories above Gaoler’s Mews Courtyard connects Alhambra with the historic Garage development to the west.
Working in this restricted and delicate space, Glotman•Simpson developed flexible, sliding connections on the bridge – so well inegrated they are almost imperceptible – which unite the buildings, yet allow them to move separately in the event of an earthquake.
Completed in 2009, this $10.5 million, charmingly restored heritage project is the recipient of a host of awards, including the 2011 Heritage BC Outstanding Achievement Award, the City of Vancouver Heritage Honour Award, the 2010 Lieutenant Governor of BC Medal in Architecture, Sustainable Architecture & Building Canadian Green Building Award, and the Greater Vancouver Real Estate Board Award of Excellence.
Images: © Bob Matheson