Acton Ostry Architects

The Alhambra Hotel was the most prominent tenant of the Byrne’s Block built in 1886, the same year the City of Vancouver was incorporated. Now considered one of Vancouver’s heritage gems, the restored Alhambra is one of only three buildings still largely intact from historic Gastown’s earliest days. The restoration and rehabilitation features retail spaces at ground level with the former hotel above transformed into commercial office use. Unique to the building is the brick-paved Gaoler’s Mews that winds through the site. A series of striking glazed contemporary interventions—elevator, bridge link and office addition—are set against the bright red brick of the original Byrne’s Block.




Vancouver, BC


The Salient Group




2,500 m2

Carrall Street access to Goaler’s Mews.

Carrall Street access to Goaler’s Mews


LEED Gold equivalent
SABMag Green Building Award

awards & recognition

Heritage Canada National Trust Award

Heritage BC Outstanding Achievement Award
City of Vancouver Heritage Honour Award

Lieutenant Governor of BC Medal in Architecture
Sustainable Architecture & Building Green Award
Real Estate Board Greater Vancouver Award

glass elevator.

glass elevator

This project integrates history, design elements, context, site and program. What impressed us is how all these elements are integrated—while keeping the character of the site. The project distinguishes itself with a masterful resolution of multiple complex problems, including heritage preservation, adaptive reuse, authorities, urban planning issues and seismic upgrading.

Lieutenant Governor Awards

glass elevator.

glass elevator

Gaoler’s Mews with Cordage + Garage beyond.

Gaoler’s Mews with Cordage + Garage beyond

Blood Alley access to Gaoler’s Mews.

Blood Alley access to Gaoler’s Mews

historic Alhambra Hotel c. 1918.

historic Alhambra Hotel c. 1918



glass bridge link.

glass bridge link

glass bridge link.

glass bridge link

glass office addition at Blood Alley.

glass office addition at Blood Alley

The three-phase project, completed in 2009, breathes new life into five adjacent historic buildings with Alhambra as the cornerstone of Vancouver's Gastown neighbourhood.

Canadian Consulting Engineer Magazine