Saturday, June 13, 2015

A glimpse into what could be the future of Cow Bay

Visual concept for new development
in the Cow Bay area
(from Vancouver architects
OMB website)
Plans from the Prince Rupert Port Authority to redesign portions of the Cow Bay area surrounding the Atlin Termnial have been in the works since 2011, a much anticipated project that has offered up to the community an exciting change to the way we will be able to access that area of the city.

And while there hasn't been much heard about the redesign in recent months, that could soon change, particularly if the visual concept from a Vancouver architect and design firm is any indication as to the work done towards the project.

A link from the website for the Office of McFarlane Bigger provides a conceptual design of what the Cow Bay area may look like should the Port move forward with the Cow Bay plans.

The Cow Bay Development is poised to enliven the under used industrial waterfront and re-imagine it as a vibrant public setting. Our efforts have focused on the urban design, master planning of the public realm, building programming, and the establishment of sustainable goals for the neighbourhood. 

A dramatic waterfront ‘open air’ covered gathering space will serve the unique seasonal tourist demands and the needs and desires of the local community and businesses. The design involves re-purposing several industrial structures along the waterfront and the creation of an appropriate architecture for new buildings expressive of the location’s unique history and industrial past. -- An overview of a proposed redesign for the Cow Bay area from 

The overview offers up a visual as to how the area would be opened up for public space, with the main focal point building making for a generous use of glass and balcony areas along with a boardwalk extension to the existing Atlin Terminal.

The concept for the new structure would have it located between the existing Atlin Terminal and the Northland Cruise Terminal and will be a mixed use office building, as well as provide for a Community Plaza, an addition to the area which is described as a dramatic "open air" space designed to serve the unique seasonal tourist demands and the needs and desires of the local community and businesses.

Overview of conceptual design for Cow Bay Area
from Vancouver architect OMB website

The overall design, is one that will re-purpose industrial structures along the waterfront and create new buildings that are expressive of the Cow Bay area's unique history and industrial past.

As well the designs showcase where future developments could be placed, after what would be the first phase of the development is completed.

Included in the design, is what the view will be like from the Cow Bay marine wharf, that community access point is currently under construction, with a completion deadline set for the end of July.

What the view could look like from the community wharf
facing back to the city side of the harbour

The image is included as part of the conceptual drawing provides for perhaps the best visual as to how the Community wharf structure will become  a key attraction for the new Cow Bay area.

The information from the architect's notes provides for a budget of up to $80,000,000 for the proposed development.

You can review the full document from OMB here.

The Cow Bay redesign has been a highly anticipated approach to provide for an urban living space as part of Prince Rupert's waterfront, the original notes on the plan from 2012 can be found from the Prince Rupert Port Authority website.

OMB was involved in those early discussions and have clearly incorporated some of the desires of the community into their master plan presentation for the Port Authority. And residents of the North Coast will no doubt find much to like about the prospect of seeing the Cow Bay area become one of the main gathering areas in the community.

As of yet however, there is no indication from the Port website as to what the status of the proposed overview from the Vancouver architects might be, or what kind of timeline they are working with towards redevelopment of the Cow Bay area.

For more items related to Waterfront development see our archive page here, more items related to the Prince Rupert Port Authority can be reviewed here.

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