The Co-Op Shop Network: Vancouver

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  • The Co-Op Shop Network: Vancouver
  • Sustainability Through Symbiosis
  • December 2014
  • M.Arch. Waste_ Studio Project
  • COTE Top Ten for Students Competition Entrant
  • Catherine He and Kristin Olinyk

“The Relationship”

The human and the building are codependent organisms; they struggle apart and thrive together. The building cannot function without the tenants who operate on it, while the tenants cannot fulfill their basic physical and social needs without the operations of the building. This co-op live/work project seeks to intensify this symbiotic relationship. By opting in to communal living spaces, the tenants (humans, fish, worms, and plants) agree to co-operate on the various layers of the building system to grow their own food, cycle nutrients and waste, compartmentalize units, and collaborate in collective awareness, self-determination, and perpetuation of their shared future promise.

“The Architecture”

The building provides a flexible framework for cooperative living. Through a central service wall, all floors have access to essential amenities: electrical, plumbing, and aquaponic connections. Individual entrances, partial walls, and level changes suggest, but do not define, the boundaries of each unit. Upon this framework, the occupants actively add, subtract, and adapt, in order to attain physically and performatively desireable states of co-existence.