Constant waves of immigration over the past 200 years has shaped Vancouver, with each new wave of immigrants adding to the city’s ethnic and cultural composition. The city continued to expand in density and diversity within a top down urban planned plot, first set out in the 1910s. It promotes a network of standardized property management and restricts individual preferences, which gradually suppresses cultural pluralism. Rather than a ‘mosaic’ society of equal pieces, Vancouver becomes highly inegalitarian with European dominance.
There are however, exception areas like Chinatown and Japantown, where the European plot and regulations are re-interpreted, attesting to a heterogeneous assortment of traditions, practices and styles. These areas are the inventions of a bottom up approach that is strategically communal hybridized and self-efficiently organized.
This project explores how museum architecture could share the same characteristics of bottom up inventions, which breaks free from cultural class hierarchy and bureaucratic controls. Whether if it could spatialize the development of these urban ‘ethnic enclaves’ throughout the city's colonial history? Readdressing the mistreatments and inequality happened in the past and hence reviewing the situation of ethnic minorities in today's Vancouver. What would then, be the possible architectural outcomes along an existing, yet forgotten postal tunnel underneath downtown Vancouver?
Untold Stories: Museum of Ethnic Enclave in Colonial Vancouver by Ho Tung Ruby So in Canada won the WA Award Cycle 30. Please find below the WA Award poster for this project.
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