We first saw a tower proposed for 1300 Richards (now renamed as 498 Drake Street) in 2012, and it was approved for development a year later. The Charleson is a 43 storey tower that bookends the block; it was submitted at almost the same time and is just completing. Like 1300 Richards it’s designed by DIALOG, although this time for Onni, the company who also developed another 41 storey DIALOG designed tower nearby (The Mark).
This tower had 130 rental units in a 9-storey podium (along with a 37 space childcare) and 130 condo units in the tower. The design rationale explains that the angled tower is a result of only a very small part of the development not being affected by a viewcone that crosses the site. As a result the tower floorplates are quite small – even for Vancouver. (Here’s what was on the site before). The initial design for the development permit was rejected by the Design Panel – not for the tower, but for the podium. The revised design (shown above) was accepted and the finished building matches the render.
What wasn’t anticipated in any of the renders of the building was the public art component. Because the site is constrained (being narrower than most city blocks), the building has an elevator core running the full height of the tower, on the outside. There was a vague hint of art in the render above, but the reveal this week has shown a dramatic piece called ‘Finger Paint’. 416 feet high, and 30 feet wide, it was created by Vancouver artist Elizabeth McIntosh, and has already attracted strong comments, both in favour and against its design.