This city is built on Indian Land...we are adding a new layer of architecture on that – Architect Joe Wai
In 2012 M&L worked with staff from the Vancouver Native Housing Society and architect Joe Wai as part of the innovative heritage regeneration and aboriginal supportive housing project that created new accommodation and healing lodge facilities at the historic Pender Hotel in downtown Vancouver.
Originally designed in 1913 by architect W.T. Whiteway the building has a neoclassical façade with extensive terra cotta and decorative brickwork. A dramatic component of the design for adaptive re-use of the old building is the longhouse structure that now commands the rooftop gathering space.
M&L’s contribution to the Skwacháys project was the coordination, raising and installation of the 41 foot 4 inch tall carved pole that is the centerpiece of the new longhouse structure. The carver was Francis Horne Sr. The M&L crew worked with First Nations artists Ian Reid, Simon James, and Vince Fairleigh to install concealed metalwork supports for the pole as directed by project engineer Jim Mandelli. M&L also supervised the careful loading and transportation of the pole from the workshop to West Pender, and then carried out the rigging and raising of the pole as part of a community event and public ceremony.