2011 SAB Award Winning Project - The Schoolhouse

Through the renovation and conversion of a historic structure this project has created a dramatic, modern and sustainable building. The project took a redundant 1940s schoolhouse, located in East Vancouver’s historic Strathcona neighbourhood, and transformed it into five distinctive residential units for the client and his extended family.

Jury Comments: Transforming a 1940s school into five residences for the owner and his extended family is a unique building re-use idea. The original architectural character of the school is blended seamlessly with a successful contemporary language,embedded into one of Vancouver’s oldest residential communities. The project serves as a residential model of sustainability in an established area that will ins   pire other similar projects.

The Strathcona neighbourhood has a strong and complex historic grain that this project was able to reinforce through a well considered combination of renovated building and modern additions. To this end, the building was raised and completely renovated with maximum re-use of the existing structure and materials. The original wood frame was meticulously retained, and non-structural wood was re-milled and re-used for new elements throughout the spaces.

Elevating the building by two feet maximized the livable areas at grade level, with the massive steel supporting beams having to be hand-placed due to the site constraints. The overall architectural expression complements the original historic character with a modern aesthetic, telling a unique story of evolution and integrating the building into one of Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhoods.
Recognizing the continuing nature of this evolutionary process, the design of The Schoolhouse anticipates further change in the future. The south edge of the building has good public exposure and could one day be converted into a café or community space. The necessary fire separations and alarm upgrades have been included to allow future conversions to occur as City policy on non-residential activities in residential areas matures.

FOR MORE ON THIS PROJCET SEE THE SUMMER, 2011 ISSUE OF SAB HOMES AT: http://www.sabmagazine.com/blog/2011/07/04/sab-homes-6-the-schoolhouse/


  • Architect DIALOG, Vancouver
  • Owner/Developer Take Root Properties, New Westminster, BC
  • General Contractor Trillium Project Management, Vancouver
  • Landscape Architect Space 2 Place, Vancouver
  • Electrical Enginee r  Stantec, Abbotsford, BC
  • Mechanical Engineer Stantec, Abbotsford, BC
  • Structural Engineer Formosa Engineering, Vancouver
  • Building Envelope JRS Engineering, Burnaby, BC
  • Code LMDG Code Consultants, Vancouver
  • Surveyor Matson Peck and Topliss, Richmond, BC
  • Photos Philip Jarmain, Vancouver

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