1400 Howe first showed up exactly two years ago when we suggested it might raise a few eyebrows for its design. The project was reworked and given a unanimous approval for rezoning by City Council in the fall of 2013.
Westbank have moved fast to develop the 52 storey tower and two other buildings around and under the onramp at the south end of Granville Street in Downtown.
Very few people have had anything negative to say about the project, and at the public hearing they were significantly outweighed by those with a positive view. The design is being handled in Vancouver by DIALOG and James K M Cheng, but the concepts and details are all the work of Danish architect Bjarke Ingels and his company BIG.
The scheme includes 500,000 sq ft of residential space, office space, retail space, and the possibility of a variety of temporary uses using the space under the Granville Bridge, including a pop-up cinema. As it’s one of the higher building sites in the city the review by the Urban Design Panel was augmented by architects from Germany and Toronto.
Our illustrations are of the latest model that will undoubtedly be the star of the marketing effort, in amazing detail with a much clearer idea of how the building will look. The tower starts out as a triangle on the ground, and ends up rectangular 50 storeys up.
The project has already started a marketing campaign and has a name – Vancouver House. The developers have created an exhibition, opening in March, that will explain how the design evolved.
Here’s another example of how the Mount Pleasant industrial area continues to evolve. Right now this 50′ site has a 1907 house on a corner lot, but this 18,000 square foot office and industrial building has been approved to replace it. We weren’t sure who the architect is, but it seems it’s most likely to be MallenGowingBerzins architects (MGBA), a firm with a lot of recent history for designing interior spaces in the city, (includings some of our favourite bar restaurants) but relatively few buildings.
We only posted this about eight weeks ago, and already it’s moving forward. The West End Plan having been adopted, new development proposals are starting to appear. This tower has been on the radar for a while, with the rezoning now being submitted, and the Urban Design Panel giving it the the thumbs up (having seen the model on the left). It’s for a site behind St Paul’s hospital and close to Mole Hill that currently has a 1977 church building. The new project, which is a joint Bosa Properties and Central Presbyterian Church proposal, would see a replacement church building with 45 non-market rental housing units and 168 market rental units in a 22 storey building. There’s a tree on the roof, so you can be reasonably certain that the design is by Henriquez Partners Architects (and you’d be correct).
As if the remarkable number of recent new major office proposals wasn’t enough, here’s another rezoning application in the Downtown core. It’s not insignificant either – it’s over 400,000 sq ft of offices in a 31 storey building (with 2 floors of retail) proposed for the corner of West Pender and Thurlow Street, on the block that already has the first four Bentall towers. Designed by Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership for Bentall Kennedy it would replace a small existing office building and a parkade. The design and scale is very similar to the Bentall 5 tower by the same architects nearby – perhaps this will be Bentall 5.2.
We’re updating the post to show the model that the Urban Design Panel recently supported. The building, like MCM’s recent design for Bentall on Thurlow Street, now under construction, will have slightly larger floors on the upper part of the building.
OMB are a North Vancouver based architecture firm – the Office of McFarlane Biggar. They generally design a very sleek, stripped down contemporary look, and in the past have been as engaged designing interior spaces as buildings. They picked up a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture for a building in Quesnel, and recently parted company with previous partner Michael Green who is now based in Vancouver.
OMB submitted this project in the Burrard Slopes residential neighbourhood just off West Broadway in May 2012. It had only 18 units, and wasn’t a rezoning so it was able to proceed fairly quickly and gain approval at the Development Permit Board meeting. Now it’s back at the Urban Design Panel as the design has evolved somewhat, as the new model shows.
The new version has 20 units, and unusually for condo projects in Vancouver, almost all have three bedrooms.
There’s been a site reserved for a new elementary school at International Village for several years. Part of the site was developed as a childcare, completed at the end of 2009, and now Francl Architecture are designing a 510 place school on the remainder of the site. Currently it’s an entirely land-locked parking lot (the access was lost when the childcare was built).
Back in July we thought it would be distinctly contemporary in design based on the initial sketch illustrations on the VSB website, and the model seen at the Urban Design Panel confirms that. The building will be partly cantilevered over the Andy Livingstone Park and the coloured solar shades will add a real splash to the neighbourhood.
This project was first here in October 2011 and is now completing construction. Designed by W T Leung, it’s a 10-storey 51 unit building replacing Summer’s Auto Body repair shop. The architect has designed a lot of the buildings in this neighbourhood, including both office and mixed use buildings along West Broadway (the most recently completed before this was Wesley, featured elsewhere on this blog).
Although he’s designed a lot of buildings, some of the biggest schemes the W T Leung office has designed are just showing up. There’s a 12 storey building on Kingsway, and also a 17 storey building proposed for Westbank Projects at 601 Main Street which will replace an abandoned Casino.
This building is tall for the neighbourhood, and while it isn’t very different from the render that was posted on site, it’s more of a background building than some of the more complex designs that will soon be completed elsewhere in the Main & Cambie areas.