Enns | Gauthier is pleased to work with Capilano Group of Companies (CGC) on a redesign of two iconic outdoor spaces: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver and Prospect Point in Stanley Park.  With an impressive portfolio of premiere tourist destinations, the Client has developed a keen understanding of their clientele and appreciate how attention to detail as well as thematic design contribute to a unique and unforgettable visitor experience.  Through an inclusive and collaborative process,  E|G will help create a refreshing and more functional exterior design for these world famous Vancouver landmarks and top tourist attractions.

Originally constructed out of hemp rope and cedar planks in 1889, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is synonymous with the rugged, natural beauty of Vancouver and the North Shore.  It has been a family-owned destination for over 60 years, expanding in size and amenities exponentially to become Vancouver’s premiere tourist destination, with an average of nearly 200,000 visitors per month in the busy summer season.  While this is great business, the increase in visitor traffic has put pressure on the facilities and created a number of challenges for CGC.

In 2014, E|G was hired to tackle the first of these issues: a new master plan and design of the existing parking lot facilities, arrival plaza, way finding and connections.  Completed in 2015, these improvements have improved vehicular and pedestrian circulation and have relieved the gate area from some of the visitor demands.  Currently, E|G is working on two additional projects to improve circulation, way finding and safety, while rejuvenating the materials palette and furnishings: the main entry plaza of the Park, as well as the large event plaza and circulation adjacent to the newly designed Tea House restaurant.  Both of these projects are undergoing concept design and programming, with construction slated to begin in 2017.

Heading southward from North Van across the iconic Lions Gate Bridge, one can find the other crown jewel of Vancouver Tourism: Prospect Point Lookout in Stanley Park, overlooking English Bay, Burrard Inlet and the North Shore mountains.  This bluff provides an unparalleled vantage point of the Lions Gate Bridge from the highest point in Stanley Park. It has been an observation deck, signal house, lighthouse, tea room, gathering space and tourist destination for nearly 125 years, and continues to this day as a hub of activity for visitors and locals alike, with  construction for a new restaurant and cafe underway.

In 2015, CGC retained E|G to once again develop a master plan of the Point and adjacent outdoor spaces that aimed to establish a stronger sense of arrival, and to strengthen the thematic “stories” of the site (marine navigation, First Nations history, early Stanley Park) through interpretive elements, new materials and furnishings.   Weaving the site “narratives” into the design of a public space is a unique and collaborative process we enjoy with the Client and Design Team, as it requires a keen understanding of the “big idea” that can be told, in a way that makes sense and has an impact to the visitor.  From this, circulation, wayfinding, details and materials will emerge that enhance the visitor experience that is easily identifiable with the west coast.

Working on iconic landmark sites and tourist destinations is truly an exercise in “placemaking”.