Lead DesignerAndrew Emmerson
Project LinkView
Prize(s)Honorable Mention
Entry Description

Prelude was the very first development to be approved and built under a new densification policy in the City of Vancouver, responding to four main priorities that were outlined by Council:

• Improved levels of sustainable design
• Enhanced housing diversity and inclusive communities
• Addressing homelessness and affordable housing
• Contribution to creative capital and a growing economy

With no new policy context to relate to, the building form had to maintain a stand-alone presence while creating the opportunity for multiple interfaces with future adjacent developments along the block. To help facilitate this, the building form was deliberately broken down into offset tiers that shift from one side of the site to the other.

The folding horizontal expression of the frame helps to visually minimise the overall height, while providing a strong architectural identity to the building, respectfully bridging between the scale of the existing and proposed contextual development.


GBL Architects Inc. is a cohesive and progressive Vancouver based firm of 35 architects, project managers and technicians with a 25 year reputation of providing a full range of architectural services to the private and public sector. The firm has built its reputation on high quality design, tight project management, technical proficiency, financial responsibility and keen administrative skills. The company prides itself in finding solutions which fit budgets, meet client expectations, are sensitive to schedule and are highly regarded by both the users and the public. GBL is a member of the Canada Green Building Council and The Cascadia Region Green Building Council and regularly practices green design through the LEED Canada Program.

The firm established itself initially through the provision of innovative housing projects and has since expanded into other areas of design and construction including hotels, historic renovations, commercial developments, corporate workplaces, subdivision planning and public commissions. The firm’s work is extensive throughout the Province of British Columbia having garnered many awards for excellence in design from the Urban Development Institute, Georgie Awards and City of Vancouver. A broad range of projects in multiple jurisdictions has enabled GBL to develop strong relationships with governing authorities and decision makers. The principals of GBL are thoroughly versed in the process of approvals, conversant with key city personnel and are prepared to give strong guidance to new projects. This initiative is supported by in house expertise in design, technical detailing, management, public advocacy, liaison with civic authorities and contract administration.