22 East 5th Avenue

22 E5th 1

The Urban Design Panel will soon review another Mount Pleasant industrial/office project. This proposal incorporates the façade (or the corner, at least) of a 1930s industrial building with manufacturing and ancillary retail, and an office component on the upper floors, designed by Christopher Bozyk Architects.

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717 Davie Street

Davie Granville model

We’ve now got more details on an initially mysterious new development application scheduled for an October Development Permit Board meeting. It’s for 94 residential units, in a 7-storey building, designed by MCM Architects.

It’s already been reviewed by the Urban Design Panel; here’s the model they saw when they approved the design. The address now references Davie Street, but 150′ of the building’s frontage is on Granville. We think the residential units are all rental, and there’s retail at grade and round the corner on Davie. It’s clad in white metal panels, with random coloured glass on the Juliet balconies and the retail frontages.

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619 West Hastings Street

619 W Hastings 2Sometimes we feature a project where the details have been published in a list of future schemes to be considered for approval, but no details of the design are available. Very occasionally it works the other way round – here’s a building design on a broker’s website with no other information about the architect, the developer, and no sign that a permit to build it has been submitted.

This two-storey structure (and rooftop deck) is being offered for what is currently a vacant site, although there was once an important city building here. Two office towers have been approved on this block, so no doubt it will get busier. In the meantime, there’s a shallow hole.

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Gore and Powell


Remand Centre

This project took a while to be developed, but it’s a great improvement for the neighbourhood. It’s one of the more innovative adaptive reuse projects in the city. The unused pre-trial centre (closed in 2002) has been converted to 96 non-market housing units for BC Housing.

Managed by the Bloom Group, it has 24 leased at designated shelter rates and 37 units allocated to participants of the BladeRunners program, an employment project for at-risk youth. Originally designed in 1977 by Richard Henriquez, the conversion is also by Henriquez Partners. The concrete pods that served as bed alcoves have replaced with windows. The exercise yard has become a community garden. The Community Court, opened in 2008, and various offices remain on the lower floors.

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The Arc – 89 Nelson Street

The ArcThis site has had three earlier names; it’s also been 10 Terry Fox Way, 47 Nelson Street and Area 5B of the BC Place/Expo District. It’s half of the remaining Concord Pacific land immediately to the west of the BC Place Stadium. The buildings were first proposed in 2007, before One Pacific (already under construction to the east of this site) was designed. Back in 2011 it was part of the package of development that included the hotels and relocated casino. While those were approved, this one wasn’t. Unusually, it wasn’t a huge public outcry, or an unacceptable design, but the public benefit package offered by Concord Pacific that sent it back to the proponents.

For the rezoning a year ago the design stayed the same, a curved paired arc of two 29 and 30 storey buildings designed by James Cheng, with a three multi-storey apartment bridge links, and two storeys of commercial space at the base. The rezoned project had 620 units (up from the 543 market apartments in the earlier version) and a new benefits package was accepted by Council. The seawall between the Plaza of Nations and Quebec Street is getting a much-needed upgrade, and a new Paddling Centre is being built at the end of the Creek. Various other contributions were also offered to a number of other enhancement projects in the area, and the city received a Concord-owned site on Hastings Street, across from Woodwards, for a future non-market housing scheme.

Now the development permit has been submitted, and it’s a quite different (and more interesting) design. The architect now is Walter Francl, and the scheme features a curved bridge design with dark cladding that should fit in well with the other surrounding projects that have charcoal and bronze glazing. The new version has 588 units and 29 floors, and Concord already have a promotional website set up for pre-sales interest in the project.

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Rogers Arena towers

Rogers West tower

We first saw this project in mid 2012, and again at the start of 2013. Below is what we believe is the final version, with approved permits for all three towers. Aquilini Developments are developing the towers to wrap the edges of the Rogers Arena.

The first tower – the West Tower – has just completed and tenants are moving in. It’s a hybrid office and rental residential building, designed by B&H Architects. As the model below shows it once featured some minimal colour in the dividers between balconies. Even this has disappeared in the finished product, leaving a large, and somewhat unremitting mass of green-tinged spandrel glass.

The curved designs for the all residential South Tower, by Walter Francl (on the left) pick up on the curved aspect of this first tower, proposed some years ago by Busby Associates and revised by B+H Architects. Like the newly completed tower, office uses are intended for the lower floors of the third tower at the front of this model. The upper parts and the third tower will be residential. All the 614 units will be rental, and while the developer would like to have added a fourth tower as well, the city’s planners did not support that idea. Rogers model

Obviously if the decision is made to remove the viaducts, the context will change, especially for the all residential tower (on the left of the cluster) which is already under construction. These three towers will be the first of a number in this area, with development sites also owned by both Concord Pacific and the rezoning of the Plaza of Nations.

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201 West Second Avenue

Cook St Concord render 2Three years ago we showed the model of South East False Creek, with an idea of how to deal with the site behind the hinge park – the point where the grid shifts. The was an approved rezoning for the site from some years back, but that was for the former owners, Millennium, who also developed the Olympic Village. The site was sold as part of their receivership, and the new owners – Concord Pacific – switched architects to GBL, the designers of several other SEFC projects.

Hinge Concord modelIn 2012 the Urban Design Panel preferred the new design concept which replaced an earlier quite bulky angled building. The new idea was for a curved building almost split into two parts, bending between the alignment of Second Avenue and further phases of development to come on the north side of 1st Avenue alongside the park. There are open areas in front and behind the building, with water features on the northern side.

Finally we have a submitted project for the site, and it continues the idea of a curved wall, although as a single mass. There would be 247 units on 17 floors, 96 of them with two bedrooms. Because the site it sits on is quite large, (although an odd shape) the density, at 3.5 FSR seems lower than some other projects like the Wall Centre next door, or the West tower to the east. Those both earned extra density by offering facilities – a childcare at 201 W2ndWest, and the newly named BMO theatre at the Wall Centre. This building follows the density in the area plan exactly, and has a higher density than all four Olympic Village parcels to the north east (although Canada House, Kayak and Sails have slightly greater site density).

The top picture shows the inner curve, facing north east, and the outer face (which doesn’t have exterior balconies) is on the right. The five storey cut-out is proposed (at least for now) to be finished in a copper coloured metal panel, while the rest of the building has brushed aluminum finish.

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