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First United Church Community Space

The First United Church Community Ministry Society contracted Arcadis IBI Group to provide architecture and interior design services as the Architect of Record for the new First United building in Downtown Eastside Vancouver. In partnership with Lu’ma Native Housing Society, the building addresses critical housing, health care and social justice needs through secure below-market housing and access to First United’s meal and support programs.

First United Church Community Ministry Society
Vancouver, BC
61,000 sq ft Size
11 Storeys

First United has served the Downtown Eastside area of Vancouver for more than 135 years, evolving over the decades to expand its services to meet the changing needs of the Downtown Eastside community.

To address critical housing, health care and social justice needs of the community, First United partnered with the Lu’ma Native Housing Society to redevelop its site into a 61,000 sq ft multi-storey, purpose-built space that is universally accessible. Lu’ma operates more than 100 units across seven floors of safe, secure, below-market housing for Indigenous peoples. Residents have access to First United’s amenities and services, including two meals a day through its meal program.

The new building honours the local community with an outdoor gathering space centred around a circular ceremonial space, and landscaping featuring medicinal and traditional plants. The community space also offers essential services providing access to sleeping beds and showers, and programs dedicated to mail and phone services, legal advocacy and healing.

Arcadis IBI Group provided architectural services for the entire building and interior design services on the residential component, while NSDA Architects will design the building. As the Architect of Record, we are developed and coordinated the design, preparing construction and building permit drawings, and providing contract administration support.

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