Community Design

Community Design

The Community Design Studio (CDS) is an initiative within VIA Architecture focused on community-based projects — both rural and urban. Our work seeks to restore and reinvigorate communities through thoughtful, practical and cooperative solutions around food, mobility and open space. The CDS builds on our expertise in integrated design and community planning with smaller-scale, yet equally visionary projects that have not been traditionally taken on by architecture firms.

Click here to view our Community Design Studio brochure.

  • Seattle Community Farm
  • St. John's Shaughnessy Anglican Church
  • Neah Bay Be?is Beach House
  • Holocaust Center for Humanity
  • This project’s challenge was to create weather shelters for a non-profit community farm, minimizing cost while creating opportunities for volunteer construction labor.
  • We utilized salvaged materials such as wood shipping palettes that could be bolted together using low-tech tools.  Our design highlights the texture and rhythm of wood and creates a place using borrowed history.
  • One of the few modern buildings on the City of Vancouver’s heritage inventory, the 1948 St. John’s Shaughnessy Anglican Church was in need of extensive repair and refurbishment.
  • Working with a volunteer committee of church members, we developed a multi-phased renovation plan for the church, its parish hall, and its cloister garden to be constructed as funding permitted. Our work included not only architectural design, but design of interior furnishings and textiles.
  • The beach house’s covered space will provide the Makah Tribe with gathering space for community events, dance rehearsals, and separate artists’ studios to accommodate carving, weaving, painting, and more.
  • Local artists are carving the heavy timber columns into totems.
  • The tall ceiling heights will allow for a variety of travelling exhibits and educational presentations to be held at the center, which focuses on youth education and raising awareness of not only the Holocaust but other more recent humanity issues world-wide.
  • The interior space, in contrast to the seriousness of the exhibits, is filled with daylight and finished with materials that are warm and modern.