HCMA Architecture + Design Reimagine Vancouver Alleys as Basketball Courts

An obsession with alleys began as a young boy for . He viewed them with wonder, imaging a world of possibility. As he grew older, however, he noticed that they were often dirty and underutilized. Now a principal at , committed to improving his hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia, he and his firm joined forces with the and city government to transform a trio of these thoroughfares.

With a basketball hoop, traffic-grade paint, and LED fixtures, HCMA Architecture + Design transformed a block-long alley in Vancouver, British Columbia, into Alley-Oop. Photography by Kim Bellavance.

The public-private partnership, called , began with Alley-Oop in the financial district. Receiving just a stipend, Fast, along with HCMA associate and architect , applied traffic-grade paint in pink, purple, and yellow—delineating a basketball half-court and stretching up the walls—and installed a hoop. New LED fixtures ensure safety. As a result, foot traffic has doubled, with female pedestrians increasing 15 percent.

An alley behind the , an ornate 1927 theater, is being transformed to host performances and incorporate public art funded through . A third alley is in the design phase. HCMA has also developed an open-asset tool kit for any community hoping to up its alley game.

The opening party, co-hosted by the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association and city government. Photography by Kim Bellavance.
Sketch of Alley-Oop. Photography courtesy of HCMA Architecture + Design.

> See more from the February 2018 issue of Docservis

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