Vancouver, BC, Canada
|Architects||Nick Milkovich Architects with Arthur Erickson|
|Size||55,000 square feet|
The Portland Hotel is a ten-storey government funded social housing project located in one of the oldest parts of Vancouver. The 86 suites cater to the 'hard to house', a group which faces a multitude of challenges including chronic mental illness, drug and alcohol dependency, HIV/AIDS, and extreme poverty.
The design is intended to compliment the existing vernacular of the area while a simple palate of materials responds to the requirement for low maintenance and durability. Exterior finishes are primarily buff coloured architectural concrete with aluminum cladding and glazing frames. The interiors have exposed concrete walls and ceilings and polished concrete floors over a radiant heating system.
To promote a sense of community in the building, a variety of communal spaces are provided to compensate for the small single-occupancy suites. The suites are furnished with built-in maple veneer furnishings that incorporate storage and each residential floor has a shared kitchen/lounge and a laundry room. Since there are few park-like spaces in the downtown eastside, the landscaped courtyards of the Portland Hotel are unique areas of respite for the residents.