UGM Women & Family Recovery & Housing Centre

Women and Family Recovery and Housing Centre is a redevelopment by the Union Gospel Mission (UGM), a non-profit society that has been feeding hope and changing the lives of men, women and children since 1940.
Project Type
Special Needs
616 East Cordova, Vancouver BC
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The project consists of four major components: recovery and stabilization sleeping units for women with babies; subsidized rental housing; two childcares (infant and toddler); a drop-in centre; and UGM’s office and support services.

“We’re really excited about it because we’re hopefully going to change the trajectory of families for good and break the pattern, the trap of poverty, and give families—and specifically women-led families—a place to thrive and get the supports they need,”

– Jeremy Hunka, Union Gospel Mission Spokesman.

The form of the building emerged from a desire to develop a strong urban street definition on Cordova and Princess. This “L” shape form results in a large communal courtyard along the lane. Outdoor amenity areas have southern exposure; at ground level for the drop-in centre, and second floor for staff and residents. Internally, the mandate was to design a straightforward efficient building with clear circulation.

The proposed palette of materials for the building exterior include brick masonry, coloured panel, painted concrete and glazing in aluminum frames. Although undeniably modern in expression, the building form and materials allude to and reflect elements of the historical architecture of the Downtown Eastside.