The League receives a West Vancouver Heritage Award
VANCOUVER: We are honoured to announce that, last month, the Mayor and Council of the District of West Vancouver presented the West Coast Modern League with a Community Heritage Award in recognition of contributions “to the preservation of West Vancouver’s architectural heritage,” increasing awareness, and educating the community on the significant and ongoing legacy of our West Coast Modernist buildings. We are honoured and greatly appreciative of the Mayor and Council, and the Community Awards Committee, for this recognition and to the North Shore Heritage Preservation Society for their generous nomination. We also extend our gratitude to the District and to all of those organizations and individuals, with their boots on the ground, working diligently and creatively to protect our valued architectural and cultural history.
Past and present, West Vancouver has been a center for experimentation and innovation in west coast design principles that have proliferated across the south coast of British Columbia and beyond. In the mid–20th century, West Vancouver, along with the North Shore and other areas of the south coast, became fertile ground for the development of a regional modernist expression that came to be known as West Coast Modernism. With mountainous terrain, a temperate climate, a coastal rainforest, scenic ocean views, a close proximity to nature, and willing clients, architects questioned what it meant to live on the west coast in a harmonious relationship with the natural environment and saw potential in the modern idiom. For this pioneering movement, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, in 1947, recognized west coast domestic architecture as being on the frontier of modernism. Today, architects continue to embrace these design principles and examine how they apply to contemporary west coast lifestyles, new constraints, and new building technologies.
It is imperative of us to not only celebrate our significant architectural history, but to preserve it in its physical form, as much as possible. As an art form, architecture is a medium that requires the tangible experience in order to be understood in its totality. Future generations need the opportunity to live and study the experiential aspects of a building in order to appreciate, carry-forward, and/or adequately assess the merits of the underlying design principles. While we have all seen numerous examples of positive preservation or rehabilitation across our region, we have, unfortunately, seen more instances of significant architectural loss. There is a growing interest in, and dedication to, our west coast design history, and many in the community are working hard to find new and creative ways to ensure that we can retain this history for future generations. We are honoured to be a part of this effort and are hopeful about the future.
West Vancouver Community Heritage Award
District of West Vancouver Community Heritage Awards are awarded annually in recognition of those individuals or groups who make exceptional contributions to the preservation of West Vancouver’s natural, built, and cultural heritage through conservation, projects, education, or advocacy.
West Coast Modern League
Established in 2013, the League is a Vancouver-based, independent, non-profit society registered in the Province of British Columbia. We are dedicated to celebrating, and advancing understanding and appreciation of, architecture and design of the North American west coast, with a special focus on the Greater Vancouver region. We are a volunteer-based organization with a passion for west coast architecture and the allied arts.