In Kelowna’s history, the foot of Bernard Avenue was a hub of activity linking downtown with the Okanagan Lake. It was long hoped that a modern connection would be created in this location, and this hope has been delivered with the development of a new marina and pedestrian pier in Kelowna’s “sweet spot.” The temporary moorage marina (the first of its kind in the Okanagan) provides a beautiful water-gateway to the downtown and it will be a significant source of energy and animation on the waterfront. Attention to “sense of place” and elegant architecture have made the marina a new “postcard” location.
Since opening on Sept. 27th, the marina has had a steady stream of visitors enjoying the tranquil setting of the new vantage point on the waterfront, especially the elegant seating pavilion at the end of the pier. “The mission of Westcorp is to create great spaces and places, “says Gail Temple, Director of Development for Westcorp. “We are thrilled to see how many residents are already enjoying the new venue, and we can’t wait for the heat of summer when boaters will be able to visit the downtown from this centrally located facility.”
The 400 ft. walk-out floating pier, accentuated by an elegant seating pavilion at it terminus, has 68 hourly, daily and overnight boat slips, a boat rental operation, and a marine gas bar. Previously, access to the downtown by boat was restricted to the few marina slips offered by downtown hotels and restaurants. Now, boaters can access all of Kelowna’s downtown amenities with ease.
The marina’s steel pontoon structure is decked with regionally sourced, untreated fir chosen for its warmth, its historic use on the waterfront, and its sound underfoot. An eco-element was also brought to the project through the use of a leading high technology long-life wood, Accoya. Accoya is a sustainably-sourced, fast growing softwood with superior durability and stability that will ensure the buildings look great for years to come, despite their exposure to the elements on the waterfront.
The marina buildings and the seating pavilion were designed to acknowledge the waterfront’s historic use of wood, and, through the use of elegant glulam spines, metal accents, and curved lines, bring a modern and contemporary look to the waterfront. The intention was to create a beautiful addition to the waterfront, one that would be popular with residents and visitors alike, and one that all Kelowna residents could be proud of.