Lantern Park — Beacon at Main Street

Vancouver continues to grow creatively within its bounds. Between Main Street Skytrain and Pacific Central Station sits a 1.5 hectare park. A full city block of under-used public space in the core of downtown Vancouver.

Our design goal is to maximize the utility and beauty of this existing park, and turn it into a grand public square that exceeds the needs of modern Vancouver.

Lantern Park Plan
Lantern Park Section

Image and Identity: Lantern Park
The current name of Thornton Park is hard to say, hard to spell, and unknown to most of Vancouver. A successful public square needs a strong identity to capture the imagination. Lantern Park is warm and inviting; a beacon drawing people to the urban center.

Prismatic Roof
The soaring, undulating shapes of a coloured glass roof covers a large section of the park, creating an all-weather space. Multiple open sides gives a mixed indoor-outdoor feel; a covered porch for our raincity.

Structural elements in the glass canopy create organic shaped patterns overhead. As the sun shines through the roof, vibrant colours and dancing shadows radiate on the ground. The canopy cascades to the ground at points on Terminal Avenue and National Avenue. The coloured partition blocks out traffic sounds and exhaust while still providing visual openness and a sense of privacy in an expansive space.

Cobblestone Plaza
Large areas of cobblestone under the roof make a plaza built for pedestrians. The warm glow of coloured lights from the facade of Pacific Central Station and throughout the park create a welcoming public space. Interactive elements build a lively public centre in the heart of downtown urban Vancouver.

Green Space & Community Farm
The lawn in front of Pacific Central Station is a community farm and garden. Functional green space provides usable land for the community.

Vehicle access to Pacific Central Station is available on the South and North sides, while leaving the grand exterior open for the enjoyment of real live people.

A sunken stage and 2 storeys of amphitheatre seating provide a flexible outdoor venue for music, theater and spontaneous entertainment. The seating leads into an open-air patio and restaurant which is also accessible from stairs and an elevator off Main Street.

Raindrop shaped lights suspend above L'Apmitheatre. Natural acoustics, electrical supply, plumbing, and a staging area enable varied performances to delight all senses. The raised height of the restaurant and seating creates sightlines radiating into the park and a focal point from the centre of the square.

Transit Hub
Stairs lead directly from Main St. Skytrain Station into Lantern Park. It's serviced by multiple existing Translink bus routes: the 3, 8, 19, 22e, N8, N19, C21 and C23. Pacific Central Station offers Greyhound and Amtrack service to destinations including Whistler and Seattle.

A large wayfinding signpost at the skytrain exit directs people to connections and amenities in all directions. Increased seating, tables and bulletin boards close to the bus stop better connect the city.

A bikeway along National Ave builds a segment of a future optimized connection from the seawall to Union/Adanac, a core east-west cyclist route.

Amenities & Attractions
The large area of Lantern Park is composed of numerous smaller areas of interest. Activity pods provide interaction and surprises: chess tables, maps, signpost, bulletin boards, community gardens, trees, chalkboard wall, labyrinth, memorial, l'ampitheatre public stage, viewing patio, hop-scotch, benches, tables, lights, solar powered illuminated meeting places, mirrors, local art, sculpture, shadow, height, and colour.

Lighting throughout the park guides the way for commuters and increased public use during all times of the day. Families can take their children to the interactive area, groups can reserve the theatre for performance, the elderly can spend time in the outdoors but also be protected from the elements of rain and wind. Lantern Park is a stimulating area with opportunities for everyone.

Commercial Corridor
Across National Ave from the park is the Ivanhoe Pub, a proposed grocery store, and the undeveloped false creek flats, possible site of the St Paul's Hospital expansion.

A revitalized Pacific Central Station hosts cafes, retail, and a restaurant which extends outside into the grassy park. The central atrium is available to host public art events and private functions. The many rooms inside the station can be utilized as Lantern Park storage and offices.

With high foot traffic, the Lantern Park area offers attractive commercial opportunities.

Reaching Into the City Like an Octopus
Lantern Park sits at a nexus of our urban city. Main Street and Terminal Avenue. Where Strathcona meets Mount Pleasant. The gate to East Vancouver. One block away from Science World and the false creek sea wall. Transit connections come and go to all 4 corners of the city.

Lantern Park reaches towards the undeveloped false creek flats and the future shape of Vancouver. We have a large public square in downtown Vancouver. It's half-built and waiting at the crossroads to ignite the center of the city.


About Lantern Park
Lantern Park is an entry in the "Where's the Square?" design competition
being held by the Vancouver Public Space Network.

Lantern Park was deisigned by Julie Miller, Darcie Frederick and Dustin Quasar Sacks.

Photo credits: St Paul's Lights Top and Bottom, Pacific Central Station, Curved Steps, SkyTrain, Coloured Facade, Solar Tree, Mirror Orb, Chalk Wall, Girl in Red, Chessmasters, Lounging Bench, Leaning Bench, Pacific Central Night.