555 West Cordova Street

Here’s another intriguing project that we should see a design for soon. Currently listed as a Development Permit Board candidate for March 2015, this is an office tower that has been seen by the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee a couple of times over the past year, but has yet to be seen by the Urban Design Panel.

The architects are Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill from Chicago, and the lead architect is Laura Jiminez working with Gordon Gill, with local input from B+H Architecture. The Smith + Gill website describes the project as a 356,000 sf office tower adjacent to Vancouver’s transit hub, features semi-private courtyard amenity space and open plaza with unobstructed waterfront views. Amenities include conference facilities and fitness rooms. The address puts the tower on a parking lot adjacent to the CPR station building.

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1510 West 6th Avenue

Zonda Nellis

Zonda Nellis has been designing and showcasing her unique clothing designs on the Zonda Nelliscorner of West 6th and Granville for over 20 years in a building designed by A A Robins. Now her company are proposing to redevelop to add four residential units on a slightly larger lot, with three small retail units Strangely, the city’s website doesn’t reveal who the architects are, although the landscape design is by Cornelia Hahn Oberlander with Enns | Gauthier. The model shows the design development since the application was first submitted last month. Amanat Architects designed their own offices in a building that bears some similarities a block away, so we can be confident of the quality of the finished product, if the scheme goes ahead.

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1819 West 5th Avenue

1890 W5th

We first posted a version of this project in June. We noted it was a ‘remarkably bold W5th modelarchitectural proposal’ on the northwest corner of Burrard and West 5th Avenue. The architects are Yamamoto Architecture, and the Urban Design Panel reviewed the project, and unanimously rejected the design. The proposal took liberties with the view cone in the area and was also substantially higher than guidelines suggest.

Here’s the new version – more respectful of the guidelines and the neighbourhood, while still showing some cantilevered elements.

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155 Water Street

For now we can’t illustrate this Gastown project. The City of Vancouver’s website has a notification letter to residents that describes the project, but unusually, no accompanying illustrations, elevations or further details. (Quite how they review the project to comment on it remains a mystery). If the Urban Design Panel get to see it we’ll add an image.

The façade of 151 Water St would be retained, and 157 Water Street would be redeveloped. The project would end up with six floors of office over retail and restaurant uses, and the letter says the project would be 95 feet high. Musson Cattell Mackey are the architects. The Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee will review the scheme this week – they have a few more details; the total space would be 105,426 square feet and their notes say it would be 103 feet high to the top of the mechanical room.

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Lido (1650 Quebec Street)

Lido 3

Like Central next door, another Southeast False Creek project has just been completed. Lido 1The rezoning for 1650 Quebec (which was marketed as Lido) was approved by City Council in mid-May 2011. The Urban Design Panel got a second look at the scheme at the end of June before the developers, Bosa Properties, get their Development Permit considered by the appropriate Board. The project, first submitted in 2008 and designed by Neale Staniszkis Doll Adams is for two buildings. On Main Street there’s an eight storey STIR rental block, while Quebec has the bigger 18-storey condo building. With Onni’s second project, Block 100, already appearing above ground on the adjacent site, this stretch of Main Street will feel very different in a year or so.

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Central 2We last looked at Central nearly a year ago when the vast scaffold structure had just been removed from supporting the bridge section of the project. Now it’s starting to be occupied, and we’re taking a look at the finished product.

The building was approved early in 2011 as a rezoning (with remarkably, nobody from the public to praise or condemn the dramatic architecture).

Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden’s project features an eight storey office leg and a 11-storey condo block with an 8-storey condo bridge link set at an angle above and between them. (The angled section actually lines up with the city’s prevailing east-west grid).

The office was leased to the Canada Border Services Agency who needed more space, so the office ‘foot’ was made slightly deeper after an April 2012 revision to add another 17,000 square feet of office space was approved in a revised rezoning that, like the first public hearing, had no speakers. This time it was all over in two and a half minutes. The offices were occupied in the summer, and now the residences are finished as well, the scheme having sold well despite (or perhaps because of) the dramatic design.

Central 1HBBH are now called ‘DIALOG’, and have a number of Downtown towers about to be built. The project architects who saw the building through to completion were IBI/HB.

One of the more intriguing late additions to the project is the public art –  a piece called “The Ninth Column,” which is intended to look like a Douglas fir – albeit one that was chopped into sections and then reassembled. We’re not sure whether the irony is intentional, but it’s unlikely that a Douglas fir ever grew here; the site sits in a location that was part of False Creek until it was filled in about a century ago.

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Eventide – Beach and Bute

Eventide render

Deecorp are usually commercial owners and agents for retail and office space Downtown, so a residential building is a bit of a departure from their usual area of activity. This three unit residential building was proposed several years ago and has just been advertised for sale.

Designed by Merrick Architecture, and with just three suites on four levels the repeated use of the word ‘luxury’ in the marketing and the reference to ‘stunning unobstructed ocean views’ promises that these are unlikely to fall into the category of affordable housing – unless you can afford a million or two.

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