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Park Board approves iconic design for 9-acre rooftop park at Oakridge Centre

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Kenneth Chan Jul 10, 2018 10:55 am 2,827

When complete, a new nine-acre public park set for the rooftop of the new Oakridge Centre shopping mall redevelopment will truly be an urban park of a different kind.

Last night, the Vancouver Park Board approved the design concept for the park, which will be funded by developers QuadReal and Westbank.

There will be six different areas offering a variety of experiences and uses, including Civic Centre Park, Upper Green, The Commons, The Meadow Gardens, The Woodland, and Pocket Park.

Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Diagram of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Diagram of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

All of these areas, accessed by at least six park entrances, will be linked together by walking loops of 400 metres and 800 metres in length.

Ian Gillespie, founder of Westbank, previously told Daily Hive the open rooftop space could potentially double as a large music venue for up to 3,000 attendees, and when combined with other performance and pavilion areas scattered across the site, the shopping centre could potentially hold music festivals.

Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Diagram of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

The new Oakridge Centre will have 2,600 homes, including 290 units of affordable housing, within 10 towers and four mid-rise buildings for about 6,000 people. The existing shopping centre’s retail floor area will double to about one million-sq-ft.

As well, a new and expanded public library will be incorporated into a new 100,000-sq-ft community centre at the northwest corner of the site. Other components include a seniors centre, fitness centre, gymnasium, youth centre, performance space, and multi-use areas.

Both the park and the multi-phased redevelopment are slated for a full completion in 2025. When complete, the park will be owned and operated by the Park Board, which is responsible for establishing the design of the new public space.

Here are the concept designs for the rooftop park:

Civic Centre Park

The Civic Centre Park is the ground-level park area that will directly serve the new community centre at the northwest corner of the site. It is meant to provide an entrance into the larger park area on the roof.

Features of this space include:

  • Major children’s “nature play” area
  • Large steps that double as amphitheatre seating, with play spaces and big slides
  • Large informal and flexible lawn area for gathering, play, and events
  • Outdoor pavilion for events
Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Artistic rendering of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Artistic rendering of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

Upper Green

This space on the rooftop portion of the park will be a large open lawn space with a treed backdrop.

Features of this space include:

  • Large lawn space framed by the running loop
  • Space for group activities such as tai chi, yoga, and fitness boot camps
  • Covered pavilion for concerts, performances, and group activities
  • Fenced off-leash dog areas
Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Artistic rendering of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

The Commons

An area on the rooftop with restaurants and dining patios will be enhanced by the Commons area, which includes a plaza and space for events and concerts.

Features of this space include:

  • Covered pavilion for events and performances, with the pavilion doubling as an area for covered tai chi and other activities
  • Open lawn for a variety of informal uses, such as yoga, sunbathing, picnicking, frisbee, and temporary volleyball or badminton nets
  • Playground space
  • Interactive fitness stations
  • Outdoor games, such as table tennis
  • A wide variety of seating in sun and shade
Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Artistic rendering of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Artistic rendering of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Artistic rendering of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

The Meadow Gardens

The Meadow Gardens is envisioned as a “lush wildflower and grass landscape design” for strolling and bird watching, as this space will provide food and homes for birds and other pollinators. A sizeable community garden is also planned for this area.

Features of this space include:

  • Terraced community learning garden and orchard
  • Outdoor classroom and gathering area
  • Pavilion for indoor learning opportunities and event space
  • A meandering path through a large perennial meadow
Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Artistic rendering of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Artistic rendering of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

The Woodland

This area will be a “lush urban forest” with boardwalks and attractive seating areas. It will feature a “diversity of understory plants” to showcase Pacific Northwest native flora and provide contrast to other parts of the rooftop park.

Features of this space include:

  • Meandering boardwalk through a forest setting
  • Seating areas for small groups and individuals
  • Quiet areas for reflection
Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Artistic rendering of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Artistic rendering of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

The Pocket Park

A street-level pocket park, located at the southwest corner of the mall redevelopment site, is planned to supplement and lead people to the entrance of the larger rooftop park.

Features of this space include:

  • Preschool-aged playground
  • Variety of seating overlooking the playground
  • A grove of trees that lead the way up to the park on the rooftop
Oakridge Centre Rooftop Park

Artistic rendering of the new rooftop park at the Oakridge Centre redevelopment. (Vancouver Park Board)

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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