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William Ho + Emily Ireland
‘The Arc’ is a multipurpose tower located on the edge of the water at the intersection of Gastown and the financial district. The tower, shaped by the solar and lunar arcs, facilitates unique lighting experiences throughout the day and the seasons. They include a warm sunbathed swimming pool facing the south, a sunset dining experience to the west and panoramic day to night views from the roof. Given the ever-present and ephemeral solar element of the design, occupants are reminded to slow down and reconnect themselves to their surroundings. Large solar cuts and craters allow natural light to reach the ground floor and further into the building which meets the large central atrium. By doing so minimizes the dependency on artificial lighting. These cuts also become points of visual transparency into the building and between floors thus creates moments of vertical community. As the building transforms for the night, artificial light is used sparingly in consideration of light pollution in order to protect the beautiful starry sky which the project celebrates. The rooftop becomes a place of gathering to get lost in the calming night sky. Sweeping metal arcs help guide viewers in the darkness as they trace the moon’s movements during the metonic cycle. The tracking of the moon and gazing up at the stars compels people to be present and helps them understand where they are in the city, in the world and in time itself.