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The Yale Hotel Rehabilitation Design Wins Heritage Award

The City of Vancouver selects The Yale Hotel Rehabilitation for a 2015 Heritage Award of Honour.


May 7, 2015

The City of Vancouver selected The Yale Hotel Rehabilitation, for which IBI Group was the architect, for a 2015 Heritage Award of Honour.

The Yale Hotel is one of the oldest buildings in Vancouver, a Second Empire-style masonry building listed on the Vancouver Heritage Register in the “B” category. Nowadays, The Yale Hotel is the focal point for rhythm and blues in Western Canada.

The project involved the rehabilitation of the historic Yale (originally Colonial) Hotel as part of a rezoning for the adjacent Rolston tower development. The Yale Hotel was to be rehabilitated for its current mix of uses: nightclub and SRO accommodation, with an upgrade to the seismic resistance and general improvement to the standard of SRO liveability.

Since the Yale was built in two phases, differing types of construction were found in the 1889 and the 1909 sections. Inserting seismic upgrading to the interior face of the 1889 building proved quite challenging as the historic wall construction was a single wythe of face brick with diagonal wood sheathing and simple stick framing behind (the 1909 addition had triple wythes of brick). There appeared to be little evidence of the original storefront and most the wood windows were damaged or had been replaced with metal over the years.

The exterior restoration involved masonry pinning and conservation, repainted already painted surfaces (1909 wing) and repaired wood sash (1889 section) installation of new wooden storefront and floor tile work. The neon “Yale Hotel” sign with its distinctive saxophone was also preserved and adds another layer to the building’s history.

“This award is a special honour for IBI Group. We’re glad the Rolston project gave us a chance to be involved and contribute our expertise to its heritage conservation” said Martin Bruckner, Partner in Charge.

IBI Group acted as the Architect of Record for this project and partnered with the owner Rize Alliance properties Ltd, Robert Lemon Architects Inc. (Heritage Consultant) and HOK Architects (Design Architect).

“This Award is to recognize the respectful restoration of the exterior of the Yale Hotel, noting the rehabilitation and seismic upgrade of the interior and the complementary design of the adjacent tower.” Said Hugh McLean, Heritage Planning Analyst of City of Vancouver.

View the project page

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