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Legacy: Alan Hart


Reflecting on Alan Hart's impact and legacy.

It is hard to imagine Vancouver without SkyTrain, yet this was the landscape that presented itself to Alan Hart when he arrived in the Lower Mainland in 1974 as a recent graduate in Urban Systems from McGill University. Since that time, as a passionate advocate for community-focused urban infrastructure, Alan led VIA Architecture in the realization of the urban vision that has shaped Vancouver as we know it today. Acting from his strong belief in collaborative synergy, Alan inspired others to not only realize architecture's importance in urban infrastructure but also established a leading role for architects in what had formerly been an engineers' domain. His infrastructure design work not only included all phases of the Vancouver SkyTrain system, but also the Golden Ears Bridge, the Pattullo Bridge and recently CenTerm Terminal. He was also active in Seattle, Portland and the San Francisco Bay area.

Alan pioneered a systems approach to design. His architectural innovations have included designing the first residential high-rise window wall on Vancouver's Harbourside Park towers; establishing formal rulebooks for Vancouver's tower and podium development prototypes; and developing a 3D predictive urban planning tool. As the lead architect of the Millennium Line, he introduced wood into transit stations and innovated the idea of architectural "kits of parts" for West Coast transit systems. His passion was synthesizing complex urban challenges into clear, integrated design solutions that provide the foundation for sustainable communities. Alan Hart passed away at the age of 71 after a recent diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.

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Reflecting on Alan Hart's impact and legacy.