By Minnie Chan (Perkins + Will)
Roofscape has traditionally been the location for many squatting activities in dense urban areas like Hong Kong and London because of its hidden environment. The Urban Squatter Kit aims to design a tool kit for new-age urban squatters using laminated veneer lumber as structural material to create a squatting space that is easy-to-assemble and efficient in its use of material. Because of its close proximity to forest and access to sustainable wood source, Vancouver has been chosen as the urban site for the project. The selected site is the entertainment district of Vancouver, Granville street, because of its location which cuts across the city center and its hyper- mixed-cultural landscape. It is a district that is composed of programs such as restaurants and bars, theaters, hookah cafes and adult shops. It is also a hub for many underground and sub-cultures in Vancouver. The focused site is a building on the south end of the strip where there are many narrow vacant lots (7m wide) sandwiched between buildings that are currently used as parking lots. The Urban Squatter Kit will enable urban squatters to build and grow their spaces while having the ability to bridge over to adjacent roofscapes to expand their squatter empire along Granville Street and on to the city of Vancouver.