1090 West Pender Street

Here’s one of the recent new major office proposals in the Downtown core. It was rezoned early in 2015, and has now been submitted for a Development Permit.

It has grown in scale in the interim: it’s now 32 floors with over 560,000 sq ft of offices (with a floor of retail – originally two were envisaged). It’s located on the corner of West Pender and Thurlow Street, on the block that already has the first four Bentall towers. Designed by Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership for Bentall Kennedy it will replace a small existing office building and a parkade. The design and scale is very similar to the Bentall 5 tower by the same architects nearby – perhaps this will be Bentall 5.2.


Here’s the model that the Urban Design Panel supported in 2014. The building, like MCM’s recent design for Bentall on Thurlow Street, will have slightly larger floors on the upper part of the building. The revised version is reasonably similar, but has some changes to improve its energy performance. All the building’s glazing is now triple glazing with specific low e coatings on appropriate surfaces, dependent upon orientation and heat load. In addition, the angle of tilt of the south facing surface has been revised to optimize its contribution to the efficiency of the low e / triple glazed curtainwall. After thermal modeling of the floorplate, it was discovered that the southwest corner required more solar control and vertical glass fins have been added to compensate for this exposure.

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7 Responses to 1090 West Pender Street

  1. The building there is quite nice–it has an almost deco feel–it is really annoying to see masonry replaced with glass.

    • ChangingCity says:

      The existing office building only dates back to 1971, so it’s almost certainly concrete – probably pre-cast.

  2. spank says:

    build baby build!

  3. kevin sequeira says:

    This building is an excellent example of vancouvers smaller scale Brutalist modern office buildings from the 60s and 70s, of which there were a number of built in the coal harbour area. There are a few that have vanished in the past decade and several in the process of redevelopment right now. Some day these buildings will be recognized as the last of the nicely detailed early modernist designs. The neighboring faceless flat concrete panel and red brick buildings came in the years after and are of no visual comparison. Sad to see it go.

    • ChangingCity says:

      We assume you mean the building that will be replaced – in our minds it isn’t really brutalist – it has too many decorative elements. It’s probably quite expensive to run as the concrete panels aren’t insulated. For the time being East Asiatic House, by the same architect at around the same time will continue to represent the era it was built in, but you’re right, while it’s not a masterpiece, architecturally there’s nothing wrong with it – it’s just not as big or as efficient as the proposed replacement.

    • not sure says:

      I have to agree with that sentiment. There are a couple of hidden gems in the business district, which are at risk of being replaced, because naturally they are not as profitable/economical as new towers. Too bad there is no real heritage plan aimed at protecting select objects of each period, including the 70/80ies.

      • ChangingCity says:

        It would be difficult to achieve on any scale – saving the Arthur Erickson ‘Evergreen’ office required a very large heritage bank deposit, and that mechanism isn’t available at the present time because there’s already so much banked density to try to land, and very few places to use it up. (Ironically, this might have been a candidate to use up some of that density, but the offered benefit for the extra density they’re seeking is for childcare). The Council report notes there are seismic issues with the existing building as well.

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