Acton Ostry Architects

The Gastown Child Care Centre is a creative response to an intriguing concept proposed by the City of Vancouver to develop child care facilities on the uppermost levels of under-utilized parkades in the downtown core. The innovative solution features 74 child care spaces in twinned facilities atop two parkades separated by an alley. To support Vancouver’s ambitious Greenest City goals, the project is designed to both Passive House and LEED Gold standards with a focus on net zero energy and low carbon fuel sources. Oriented toward the North Shore Mountains with views of rail yards, marine traffic, float planes and the Port of Vancouver, the design is playful, contemporary and complementary to the surrounding Gastown context. An open-air bridge connects the two facilities to make them function as one.


Gastown Child Care Centre


Vancouver, BC


City of Vancouver




800 m2

elevated plinth.

elevated plinth


Passive House certified
LEED Gold certified
Grands Prix du Design Sustainability Gold Award
SABMag Green Building Award

awards & recognition

Grands Prix du Design Sustainability Gold Award
Grands Prix du Design Preschool Gold Award
Sustainable Architecture & Building Green Building Award

Architecture Foundation of British Columbia Award

bright yellow sheds and rust-red cladding.

bright yellow sheds and rust-red cladding

The architectural expression is both playful and contemporary, and is in perfect tune with the existing parkades and the surrounding built context of the highly active and historic Gastown neighbourhood.

Interérieurs Magazine

outdoor covered play.

outdoor covered play



bridge link.

bridge link

tricycle court.

tricycle court

tricycle court.

tricycle court

ramp to tricycle court.

ramp to tricycle court

play area and view.

play area and view

play area and shared support spaces.

play area and shared support spaces

activity zone.

activity zone





shared kitchen.

shared kitchen

quiet room.

quiet room

working waterfront.

working waterfront

This simple and elegant project is an innovative response to the acute shortage of childcare spaces in a city experiencing rapid densification. It seems fitting that the expansive roof of an underused downtown parkade should be repurposed to serve the needs of urban families.

Sustainable Architecture & Building Green Awards