Housing for women, by women

546 W 13th Avenue, Vancouver

Non-profit organization Soroptimist International of Vancouver and developer Purpose Driven have partnered on this innovative housing redevelopment and brought GBL Architects on board to assemble a team that includes experienced female leads in 14 different disciplines.

The team brings a gender-based approach to key areas of design and development, delivering a project tailored to the users’ needs and the client’s vision, inspiring female leadership in a primarily male dominated industry. Amela Brudar was attracted to the initiative because of Soroptomist’s vision and being a “global voice for women” since 1921. The process of collaborating with an all-female team is energizing, enthusiastic and empowering. All group members strive to reach the objective of offering inclusive long-term housing for women. Through its bold, unique vision for women’s housing, the team was able to overcome the challenges faced by the site’s constraints and obtained unanimous City Council approval that maximizes opportunities for critically needed affordable homes. With a team of highly-qualified women across all disciplines, this case study demonstrates the outstanding leadership of women. Project Owner Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization that “improves the lives of women and girls” by providing access to education and training to achieve economic empowerment. Development Lead Purpose Driven Development is a Vancouver-based real estate development and planning firm that has been leading award-winning developments to create communities where everyone can thrive. For over two decades, Purpose Driven has partnered with developers, governments, First Nations and non-profits to deliver over $1 billion in complex, mixed-used developments in Canada’s top markets. CEO and funder Carla Guerrera helped develop the project vision, is the driving force behind this all women team of developers, architects, engineers, designers and she is working to secure project financing and regulatory requirements. Architect and Interior Designer GBL Architects is a Vancouver, Canada based architectural firm established in 1982, recognized as leaders in residential, commercial, and mixed-use design, as well as complex multi-phased master planned developments. Amela Brudar joined GBL Architects in 1994 becoming an associate in 1999 and a principal in 2008. She is passionate about the art of architecture and is always questioning and refining the vision and direction of the firm. Amela also acts as a managing partner of GBL Architects and is responsible for running daily operations of a 70 person architectural and interior design studio. In addition to providing design direction, Amela’s role was instrumental in assembling the team of women leaders in the industry. Landscape Architect PFS Studio is a leading planning, urban design, and landscape architecture firm based in Vancouver. Their international practice undertakes projects both for the public and private sectors throughout Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. Kelty McKinnon is a Landscape Architect and Principal at PFS Studio. With over 20 years of professional experience, Kelty brings a diverse background in landscape architecture, art and environmental studies to all of the projects she leads. The team comprises experienced female leads in 14 different disciplines, including structural, electric, and mechanical engineers, building code and sustainability consultants.