Livingspace Building History

Left Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives, Photographer Stuart Thomson
Right Image Source: AZURE Magazine

From biscuit factory to Vancouver’s premier destination for European modern furniture, the building that Livingspace is located in has gone through quite the transformation over the last 85 years. The factory building located at 1706 West 1st Ave was built in 1931 to house the National Biscuit Company. After closing production at the location numerous other businesses have occupied the space but the building was transformed when Livingspace moved into the Armoury District space in Fall of 2011. Omer Arbel of Bocci designed the 19,000 square foot showroom space that includes a protruding angular staircase and a rippling white ceiling treatment.

Bocci’s Vancouver studio, manufacturing and shipping centre are also located within the building on the top two floors along with their glass blowing studio in the parking lot. The entrance to the Bocci studio foyer is located off of West 1st avenue and the only marker for the space is a door on street level. The door is handcrafted from hundreds of Douglas fir offcuts and Lexan strips laminated together. The doors are appreciated during the day and adored at night as the interior light leaks through the resin detailing. The Bocci offices include a spacious rooftop courtyard and terraced garden and a large London plane tree that dominates the space. Bringing in the mature tree was no easy task. After a section of the roof was removed and the 1700 block of West 1st was closed a crane lifted the tree into place. If you are heading across the Burrard street bridge you can see the top of the tree protruding out of the building as a place marker for the creative hub.

Image Source: Bocci Vancouver front door via 

Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives, Photographer Stuart Thomson

Image Source: City of Vancouver Archives, Photographer Stuart Thomson

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