Community inspires Vancity branch design
ratio wrote this on Apr 28

A thorough and collaborative approach ensures the new Vancity Chinatown Community branch would serve the neighbourhood’s diverse and robust community now and in the years to come. As prime consultant, our RATIO team was responsible for the planning and design of this tenant improvement project.  The interior design embraces natural light and circular shapes acknowledged in both Indigenous cultures and Feng Shui principals.


Kitsilano Coast Guard Base upgrade; project completion
RATIO wrote this on May 21

Upgraded Coast Guard Base at Kitsilano

The Kitsilano Coast Guard Base demanded both a functional, robust and aesthetic upgrade.  Its landmark setting and significance as the public face of an important government agency required a design approach that enhanced its context on the edge of a large park, adjacent to a busy waterway, and set against high-density residential development.

The building, a recognizable landmark, on the North East corner of Kits Point and in the shadow of the Burrard Bridge, required a complete building envelope retrofit. RATIO worked closely with a team of building envelope consultants to ensure both energy targets and critical envelope detailing was implemented. The team developed a design that combined a new high-quality cladding & insulation system meeting the latest technical standards, with a contemporary aesthetic for its high visibility siting.


Photo of Kits Coast Guard_RATIO project

Addressing the exposed marine setting

Perched above a marina, the building is fully exposed on three sides.  Careful consideration was given to the suitability of each building component for this challenging location: long-lasting composite and zinc-accented rainscreen cladding, high-performance curtainwall glazing, and insulation & membranes will overcome changeable marine weather conditions.

RATIO’s design plan will replace an aged face-sealed metal composite panel system with a contemporary fibre cement composite rainscreen system. This provides a significant update to the building’s weather-shedding and energy performance meeting prescribed energy targets for the building.

FCO_Kitsilano Coast Guard Station_RATIO project

Our Approach

We collaborated with the Fisheries & Oceans Canada at each stage of the design process to meet the technical requirements and design expectations. Regularly scheduled coordination meetings with all stakeholders resulted in common understanding through collaboration and communication. RATIO paid careful attention to maximizing project value while maintaining the highest standards in building envelope design for the given marine location.

More: Kitsilano Coast Guard Station project page

Kitsilano Coast Guard Station building upgrade project


RATIO has worked on infrastructure projects around British Columbia from border crossings to water pump buildings, community centres and public safety buildings.

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Michael Barnes, B. Arch. FRAIC
RATIO wrote this on Apr 08

Mike Barnes,  May 30, 1940 – February 16, 2019

On February 16, 2019 we lost Mike Barnes, Architect AIBC, a beloved friend, respected colleague, senior advisor and partner. For 50 years, Mike was instrumental in shaping the direction of our firm and continued his work as a Principal at Ratio until the time of his passing. Mike earned the admiration of his colleagues, clients, industry collaborators through his wealth of professional knowledge and consistent and respectful nature. In 2010 he was recognized by his peers, becoming a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

RATIO Principal & Managing Partner Chris Pollard shares, “Mike was a mentor to me personally and we collaborated on countless projects over the years. His breadth of experience and technical expertise was second to none, but it was his quiet and supportive nature – and our conversations – that I’ll miss most.”

Our firm culture is based on collaboration; individual talents working together to bring our clients’ vision to life through the built environment. Mike set this example for our firm: discovering ways we can create something more inspiring, more useful and more sustainable, regardless of the scale or typology of a project. He was a respected leader in the coordination of Project Delivery Systems and a mentor to our design team. Michael was also a pioneer in the art and science of heritage restoration and adaptive reuse, whose work has helped to enrich the architectural landscape of the Pacific Northwest.

Tom Annandale, RATIO Principal, offers these thoughts on his friend and colleague: “How do you summarize a 50-year friendship and partnership in a few sentences? To me, Mike was the best colleague and partner anyone could have wanted – considerate, extremely knowledgeable, caring. He was dedicated to sharing his expertise and time with the profession, clients, and community organizations. Such a great loss and I am missing him immensely.”

Mike Barnes is survived by his loving wife of 55 years Geraldine (Geri), children Kirsten (Terry), Megan and Toren and his adored grandchildren Kira and Conor, Isaac and Dylan. His sisters Elizabeth (Jim) and Andrea, brother Robin. His niece Lisa (Paul), nephew Chris (Ronda) and their families, as well as a large extended family of cousins.


Michael Barnes Career

Mike’s lengthy and successful career reflected his deep commitment to community and history, his altruistic nature and his enduring sense of humour. His architectural career was a steady portfolio of high quality civic and public buildings and restoration of many historic structures in British Columbia.

Notable projects in which Michael has held a leadership role include the redevelopment of Sinclair Centre (associated with Richard Henriquez), the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (associated with Patkau Architects), and the First Nations – Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre in Whistler.

An acute interest and expertise in restoration and adaptive reuse of buildings has been a hallmark of Michael’s career. Central to this interest is not only upgrading building technology but enhancing the environment of the building for the benefit of the users. His involvement in the reuse and redevelopment of buildings has not been limited to just older properties; he also led the redevelopment of the landmark Robson Square Provincial Court.

Studies of technology and construction methods that Michael has pursued in the course of these projects have been shared widely with professional communities through lectures and articles to the benefit of all of us.


Just a few of Mike’s notable projects:

Sinclair Centre Heritage Rehabilitation(in collaboration with Henriquez Partners Architects) 

Britannia Heritage Shipyards

Squamish lil’wat Cultural Centre (collaboration with Alfred Waugh)

St. Eugene Mission – Redevelopment of former residential school into a hotel for the Ktunaxa Nation working directly with Chief Sophie Pierre.

Multiple provincial law courts projects including heritage preservation aspects (notably Arthur Erickson designed Law Courts Complex)

Designed the award-winning Institute of Ocean Sciences Campus in Sidney, BC with Tom Annandale

Multiple indigenous school projects with Indigenous Services Canada and the  Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council


Michael Barnes Obituary in the Vancouver Sun



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