Heritage Hall: Equinox Workspace & Showroom
Seven years ago, Measured designed a space for the Equinox Gallery in Vancouver’s emerging cultural corridor along Great Northern Way. The heritage warehouse was meant to be demolished to make way for the new Broadway Subway Line, and Equinox was served an eviction notice.
Equinox quickly reached out to Measured, the firm’s third project with this client, to maintain the spirit of the gallery, but on a different site.
“After discussions with the client, it became clear that the COVID-19 pandemic had sped up an already evolving business model. Private showings and online purchases were supplanting the traditional model of an art gallery, and the new space needed to reflect this emerging reality,” said Measured.
The new Equinox is located in an area of townhouses and condominiums that is still part light industrial. The design team sates that the zoning perfectly suited their client’s needs, which was a space for a workshop where staff could archive, frame, document and package — with a smaller showroom component that worked as the equivalent of a private viewing gallery and invite-only event space.
“We took every asset that we could salvage from the old space to the new location, a mid-century factory. This gave us the critical indicators of the old space, such as the entrance desk, as well as the large kinetic doors, plus the lighting and lighting grids,” said Measured. “We also brought the same disposition and attitude of the old space — of mass drywalls enabling a lower horizon line to bisect the space, allowing for the perception of a higher existing factory roof. We replicated the concrete floor as well. Flow was vital to create a democracy of space for the artists’ works on display.”
The new design emphasized a small public component — clients are received into a living-room-type space in the entranceway and then rise to owner’s office for considered viewing of curated pieces.
The work was done through the COVID-19 pandemic at “breakneck speed” with Kindred Construction: “While we did a slight clean up of the apron around building, it’s important to note that this cultural workspace is still a tenuous rental — with the same terrifying proposition of eviction.”