International Village

Architect Kirkor Architects, Vancouver,British Columbia, Canada
Completed 2000


How do you attract attention to a three-story shopping center in an area busy with sports and concert fans, high-rise residents, passengers on elevated light rail and auto traffic on a viaduct nearby? Innovative architectural design and a creative use of fiber optic cable as part of an ALUCOBOND® 21Material application in Vancouver, BC, does just that.
Completed in 2000, International Village is a threestory center with a 12-theater movie complex on the third floor, above retail shops, restaurants and a market area on the first two floors. At Pender & Abbot Streets in Vancouver, the complex also draws traffic from nearby professional sporting events (basketball, hockey and football), concerts and other entertainment events, and a 25-story residential building. The colorful patterns of light reflecting off the ALUCOBOND® 21 Material exterior of International Village are a compelling focal point in the area. Stainless steel hollow rods for fiber optic cable were part of an installation that allows the center’s owners to select color and light patterns from a computerized color wheel. Colored light reflects off the Platinum color of the ALUCOBOND® 21 Material panels installed by Keith Panel Systems of North Vancouver, BC. KPS also was the distributor and fabricator of the wall panels. Approximately 35,000 sq. ft. of the material was installed in the KPS full rainscreen, pressurized cavity system A. Material was manufactured by the Benton, Kentucky plant of Alcan Composites USA Inc. The stainless rods for the fiber optic cable were installed at four-way joints of featured panels. Extending out from the wall surface, the rods have a glass lens cap that expands the light from the fiber optic source.
“This provides a rainbow of changing colors sweeping around the building,” said Richard Golab, Senior Associate of the Vancouver office of Kirkor Architects. The stainless steel rods also are used for attaching fabric banners.
Another unique and challenging fabrication feature of the project was an inverted conical ellipse made from panels of ALUCOBOND® 21 Material and incorporating a 60-ft. radius, which may be suggestive of a popcorn box. Nevertheless, this attention-getting element would be “difficult to do with any other type of material,” Golab added. The shape requires material sloping outward at the same time that it curves. “The material creates a high-tech, up-to-date look of a quality entertainment complex,” said Mario Gumushdjian, Partner in Charge of Design at the architectural firm’s Toronto office. He indicated that a key factor in material selection was the integrity of the material – a tight skin with no warping or buckling, and that works well with the rainscreen attachment system and challenging designs like the conical ellipse. The material also reflects the cinema’s neon signage as well as the fiber-optic lighting. The effect of design and material is to draw “immediate visual interest” to the third-floor multiplex cinema, Gumushdjian concluded.
The success of International Village in this setting is recognized, in part, by the 2001 Metal Architecture Design Awards – “Winner: Smooth Metal Wall Panels. ” Success indeed! Robert Hendricks