The Flats – 217 East Georgia


Flats newWe first mentioned this Chinatown building three years ago. It is a 9-storey, 26 unit residential building with retail and parking at grade. The lot it’s built on is only 25 feet wide, but the building sits next to a lane, looking onto the back of a parkade.

The design, by Birmingham and Wood with ASIR Architects has a grey and yellow palette (a refreshing change from the ubiquitous Chinatown red) and a contemporary take on the Chinatown balcony/screen idea.

Construction seemed at times to be painfully slow – the construction method is unusual (and we think it’s the first time it’s been used in the city). A series of hollow metal frames, a storey high, form the party wall with the building to the east. Reinforcing rods run vertically through the frames, and 217-e-georgiaconcrete was pumped into the frame, creating a solid flank wall. The outer wall was built with similar frames but those didn’t have the concrete liner.

The original design showed some greater variation on the flank wall, with yellow window surrounds. Instead there are random yellow and cream vertical panels.

Now that the building is occupied the owners don’t necessarily keep the yellow shutters closed all the time, so the appearance of the Georgia façade looks much closer to the model.

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6 Responses to The Flats – 217 East Georgia

  1. We at Panther group are proud to be part of this project. Launching in September.

  2. Love it… I am assuming the suites will be large (since there’s only 26 in a 9 story building?) Any idea of starting prices?

    • ChangingCity says:

      Not yet – but check out the first comment; assuming the project moves forward it looks as if September should see some details. As the site is only about 2,750 sq ft, three unit per floor would be about 800 sq ft each (as there has to be room for an elevator shaft and fire stairs). But so far, the model is all there is to see.

  3. david morgan says:

    this is precisely the sort of project that chinatown needs, and per council’s excellent moves last year, here’s hoping that this is only the first of many such projects, in terms both of high fsr and design.

  4. beach650 says:

    This reminds me of a modern take on my favorite building in Vancouver – The Empress on Hastings. Love small site developments.

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