1488 Robson Street


The images for this proposal have now shown up on the City of Vancouver website, and no doubt soon it’ll head to the Urban Design Panel. Musson Cattell Mackey have submitted a development application for a pair of towers to replace the Empire Landmark Hotel. The building has 34 hotel floors over a podium and a revolving restaurant and was completed in 1974. (No doubt the era that it was built, and the seismic standards applied today have something to do with the decision to replace rather than convert the Landmark). The London office of PDP, an international architecture firm also based in Hong Kong (like the developer) seem to have worked on the design.

The project isn’t a rezoning; it’s following the new West End Plan, and the Development Permit Board has the project on their agenda for decision before the end of the year. The scheme has 28 and 30 storey towers with 57 units on non-market housing, and 223 market units. There will be retail on the ground floor and a second floor of office space.

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1345 Davie Street

We know even less about this project than the one below. Too soon for any images, it will also appear on the City of Vancouver website, and at Urban Design Panel. There are a pair of towers proposed here by Marcon with 168 market condo units in 18 and 20 storeys over a three and four storey podium with 68 social housing units. It would replace a 1979 four storey rental building, and we suspect a 1950s 3-storey next door. The remainder of the block is also being redeveloped with the Jervis, a condo and non-market rental tower.

The project isn’t a rezoning; it’s following the new West End Plan, and the Development Permit Board has the project on their agenda for the same meeting as the Robson Street project. We’ll repost with an image as soon as one becomes available.

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Canvas – 401 Great Northern Way


When we added this project to the blog in February 2013 Onni had a number of projects on the go, including this scheme that didn’t take long to obtain approval as it wasn’t a rezoning. It’s nominally an artist live/work development containing a total of 209 units with a seven storey building facing E 1st Avenue containing 135 units and a six storey building facing Great Northern Way with 74 units.


Located on an oddly shaped site close to the future University campus that includes the Onni Gt Northernnew Emily Carr University buildings, it’s designed by GBL Architects and features a colourful courtyard (although the street façade was initially more restrained). Our picture of the model shown to the Urban Design Panel (on the right) shows the central space, and above, the finished article.

The industrial materials match many of the other buildings in the artist live/work area. The construction shows how far woodframe buildings have come – the upper five floors have lumber construction strong enough to support a rooftop with trees.

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1176 Burnaby Street

1176-burnabyIt’s been a while since we’ve seen a proposal based on the West End Plan’s ‘Laneway 2.0’ policy. Here’s a new laneway infill designed by Stewart Howard Architects for nine rental units in what appears to be a four storey building with a rooftop terrace. There’s an existing 11-storey building at the front of the site called the Newport Apartments, built in 1966.

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1500 West Georgia Street

1500 W Georgia 2In January 2016 we noted that it had been known for a while that Bosa Properties, in conjunction with Kingswood Capital, had acquired the iconic Rhone and Iredale designed triangular 1500 W Georgia office building in 2014.

While the office building is a well performing asset, (and a heritage structure) it’s the opportunity to add a residential tower to the other side of the site that prompted their purchase. That tower has been designed by German architect Ole Scheeren, probably best known for his China Central Television Headquarters in Beijing when he was with Rem Koolhaas at OMA.

1500 W GeorgiaLast June 235 condos were proposed in a 51 storey structure (shown on the left). Now there’s a rezoning application for the revised version which will have 219 condos in 43 storeys, to fit under the viewcone across the site. The developers either hadn’t read the West End Plan that allowed them to design a higher building here in the first place – or hoped their design would somehow allow them to ignore it. “Building heights should not exceed view corridor limits (except Queen Elizabeth View Corridor where consistent with the General Policy for Higher Buildings).”

1500 revised street viewThe project also has revised designs for the existing water feature, which is relatively unchanged (compared to the first iteration of the project), and a different design of the base which doesn’t have a theatre proposed in a prominent box. The fancy energy arrangements powering the lower floors from the upper parts of the tower may still be part of the overall scheme.

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Block 100

Block 100

Another piece in the South East False Creek patchwork of sites is just about completed. It’s another Onni project for a site that has a frontage to both Quebec Street and Main Street (addressed as 1699 Main), two sites south of Onni’s Central and one past Bosa’s Lido.

Onni Burger KingIt had a long design history: it just went to the Urban Design Panel for its fourth review (where it got unanimous support) – not because it’s really bad, but rather because it started life as a proposal by a different developer six years ago. Beedie originally hired Chris Dikeakos Architecture to design it, and started selling it as ‘Q1’ (corner of Quebec and First Ave – geddit?). After the brief property meltdown in 2008 Onni acquired the site, and retained the same architect, but changed the design. As see first in this 2012 model, it has 15 storeys and 231 units with retail in the 10-storey block – although probably not a replacement for the Burger King that was last on the site. There’s a bit more planting to be added along 1st Avenue – otherwise it looks like a very faithful delivery of the promised design.

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399 East 1st Avenue

399 E1st renderOnni are close to completing their artists live/work project on Great Northern Way called Canvas. Now they’ve submitted a four building development application for a site close by, part of the University Campus rezoning.

399 E1st southStrangely, the City of Vancouver haven’t posted any renderings of the four buildings – two 13 and 15 storey live-work buildings with retail at grade and a total of 220 units, a 15 storey hotel with 199 rooms and a 7 storey office building. We’ve posted the render of the south elevation of the live-work buildings that would front E 1st. We’ve also added the image on the rezoning notice, that makes more sense of the design rationale offered by the architects, IBI, citing colours from Rubik’s cube and references digital art like Douglas Coupland’s digital orca (at the Convention Centre). It won’t end up looking exactly like this as the Urban Design Panel didn’t support this initial design.

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