The historic Burn's Building in Vancouver was not a nice place. Architect Bruce Carscadden writes that it "has enjoyed the dubious distinction of one of Vancouver’s worst Single Resident Occupancy (SRO) buildings." Now it has been renovated and upgraded into 30 transformer apartments that, while not as wow as Gary Chang's in Hong Kong, adapt to conditions and needs throughout the day in just over half the space of the LifeEdited project.
Using creative and careful product selection and innovative thinking about layouts and floor plans, a customizable and changeable design was generated. Each apartment reflects the needs of the resident and the requirements of the day – the bedroom becomes a dining room becomes a living room and so on.
Design becomes a paramount commodity in an exercise of inches - even the washroom entry door doubles as the shower door depending on the position and latching.
That's a clever idea. Carscadden says that the building " represents the collective aspirations for generating viable rental units and addressing the widening vacuum for affordable housing within the City." It also demonstrates the adaptive reuse of an historic structure to modern needs, in a changing city. Nice work by Bruce Carscadden.