There have been hints that this site on West Georgia would be seeing an interesting proposal. The rezoning has now been approved, and the design is certainly intriguing. Westbank will add around 350,000 square feet of office (with a main floor retail component) on a site across the street from the Library, next to ‘The Centre’ (these days a church), and a block away from their Telus Garden office building. (There’s another development site between the two Westbank buildings).
The building has a complex ‘snowflake’ design, unlike anything in the city. It consists of a series of cantilevered boxes protruding from a hexagonal core. It’s achievable because it would have a steel frame – seldom seen in Vancouver. That would also see it built more quickly, although the core will still be reinforced concrete.
The architects are OSO – Westbank Design Department, working with Merrick Architecture, (who haven’t been responsible for designing an office tower for many years). The City apparently responded to the initial proposal in favourable terms; the rezoning package including this quote “You are commended for proposing such an architecturally interesting building”
The walls are either glazed or proposed to be covered with a green planted grid. This would be the most ‘green wall’ seen in the city, so the implementation and maintenance of this aspect of the building will be crucial to its success.