Voda – 1661 Quebec Street

Here’s ‘Voda’ the first Concert Properties condo building completing in Southeast False Creek. It’s a 15 storey 174 unit building that was given the green light by the Urban Design Panel early in 2015, so it’s been developed quickly. It’s the first of five buildings to be built by Concert in SEFC in their ‘The Creek’  project. Designed by Rafii Architects with Richard Henry Architects it’s the middle of three buildings that will face Quebec Street opposite Block 100 and Lido. Next door to the south there’s a non-market building which is also close to completion.

As built, there’s a slight difference to the top of the building on the Quebec street side, compared to the model of the project. It gives even greater prominence to the vertical element of the design.

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2250 Yukon Street

This is another Mount Pleasant industrial/office project. It’s designed by Florian Maurer (of Penticton) for Fast+Epp, a noted local firm of structural engineers, (they were involved in the design of Van Dusen Gardens visitor’s centre and the Richmond Oval). The building will have wholesale uses on the main floor and their offices above, including a materials testing lab and a prototype building area.

The construction of the building will be a little different. It will be constructed of prefabricated hybrid steel and lumber panels, with mechanical and electrical systems pre-installed. The whole building, once at grade, could take only four weeks to build, and will feature geothermal heating.

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77 East Broadway

We know few details about this development application, because it hasn’t shown up on the City’s website yet, although it was submitted in 2016. It has however already taken a trip to the Urban Design Panel, who were unenthusiastic about the design, and suggested revisions.

It’s a 6-storey building with 28 condos over retail and a restaurant on the corner of East Broadway and Quebec Street. It’ll be something of a ‘first’ for the area, as all the previous condo buildings on this stretch of Broadway have been on the south side of the street – this one is to the north. The design is by Eric Law Architect, and the building would replace a surface parking lot with a pre-owned car dealership.

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105 Keefer Street

Merrick Architecture have redesigned a building for this corner at least five times. The four earlier versions were for a rezoning, but after a public hearing that lasted many nights, with considerable opposition to the 120 foot tall project, the developers have submitted a shorter version that fits the zoning and so can avoid a public inquiry. The site is on the corner of Keefer and Columbia, across the street from the Sun Yat Sen garden.

The rejected rezoning proposal was 12 storeys, and had 110 market and 25 non-market senior’s units. The building was sculpted to ensure there wasn’t a shadow on the garden. The new shorter version has 111 condos, as the zoning permits, but no non-market housing. There are commercial uses at grade, including a seniors’ cultural space (as was proposed in the previous rezoning).

As this is effectively the same design that the Urban Design Panel already supported, but without the more controversial additional three storeys, it ought to have no problem going forward to a fall Development Permit Board meeting.

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339 East 1st Avenue

The employment ambitions for the False Creek Flats took a further step forward with another office building proposal. This is for a 6 storey 144,000 square foot building with grounf floor retail designed by IBI for Porte Holdings and the Reliance Group. It’s proposed with some bold colours to compliment IBI’s approved design for an adjacent precinct of buildings for Onni.

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1107 Seymour Street

The details of this Downtown South project first showed up in August 2012. It’s a 15 storey rental building on the corner of Seymour and Helmcken Street. It was approved for rezoning in May 2013 to build 81 residential units and nearly 20,000 sq ft of office on a small (75′ foot wide) corner site behind the Chateau Granville hotel.

What makes this project unusual is that it was privately developed non-market housing designed by Endall Elliot for Wall Financial. The scheme is intended to use the Community Amenity Contribution from a tower at 1300 Richards Street (now given a Drake Street address) to subsidise the development of the non-market units, with a small top-up contribution from the City’s non-market housing fund. There’s a proposal for another Endall Elliot designed building that’s just beside it in this render from the architect’s website.

As built, the finished product looks very much like the render – and for once the existing trees are actually bigger than the render artist showed.

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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 – was completed in August 2015. 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 just completing in mid 2017 pick up, and dramatically improve on, the curved aspect of this first tower, proposed some years ago by Busby Associates and revised by B+H Architects.

Once again the small areas of colour that were once a feature of the project have disappeared. However, the sinuous curves and the wood detailing under the tower (which is elevated on angled concrete columns) make the tower far more interesting.

The area underneath the tower is part of the emergency exit area around the Arena, so the tower has a minimal presence at ground level, with some beds of native species but significant areas of paving.

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 once the viaducts have gone, the context will change, especially for the south tower (the all residential tower on the left of the cluster shown above). 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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