401 West Georgia Street

The address of this office project is a bit misleading – it actually faces onto Dunsmuir Street. There’s an existing office building that stretches the entire length of a block of Homer Street, with an early 1980s office tower designed by Aitken Smith Carter. That was set in the middle of the block to avoid blocking views of the adjacent Holy Rosary cathedral and to create a plaza on Georgia Street. Now B+H Architects have designed a nine storey office and retail building (with a tenth rooftop service floor) for the Dunsmuir end of the block.

Although views of the cathedral will be lost, the building is set back and modulated to allow a continued view of the cathedral spire. The building adds 151,000 square feet of commercial space including restaurant space on the main floor, with a partially enclosed plaza with outdoor seating between the existing building and the new one. The style seems distinctly European – it wouldn’t be out of place in London or Berlin. The Metro Core Plan added allowable density to the site, so it can be built as a development permit without a rezoning, so can move ahead if it gets an Urban Design thumbs up.

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