An architecturally stunning redevelopment proposal in downtown Vancouver aims to provide the city with its first majors twin towers and add to the skyline.
Local developer Bosa Properties, in partnership with Kingswood Capital, plans to submit a rezoning application for 1070 Barclay Street – a site at the southeast corner of the intersection of Barclay Street and Thurlow Street, next to Robert Lee YMCA.
This is world-renowned German architectural firm Büro Ole Scheeren’s second design in North America after the proposed ‘Jenga Tower’ at 1500 West Georgia Street, another Bosa Properties project.
Two residential towers with the same height but varying number of floors – 48 and 49 storeys, respectively – will replace four existing apartment buildings ranging between three and nine storeys at the city block.
Under existing height and view cone regulations, the site permits building heights of up to 550 ft, but the proposed design will not hit this height ceiling.
It will still appear taller than it actually is in the skyline because of the site’s high elevation over 100 ft above sea level.
A total of 680 residential units are planned, with 190 units – approximately 25% – dedicated as social housing to not only replace the demolished rental housing units but also add to the stock.
“Bosa Properties is dedicated to supporting existing tenants. A draft Tenant Relocation Strategy Plan that exceeds the City’s minimum requirement has been submitted to the City, and a full-time tenant relocation coordinator has been engaged to provide a point of contact for tenants and to provide the assistance required,” reads a statement prepared for Daily Hive
“Tenants meeting the eligibility requirements will also have the first right of refusal for the new social housing, giving them an opportunity to return the neighbourhood.”
Adhering to the City of Vancouver’s High Density Housing For Families & Children Policy, there will be 30% two-bedroom units and 20% three-bedroom units or more within the social housing portion of the development.
For the market residential units, 25% will have two bedrooms and 15% will have three bedrooms or more.
Also planned are ground-level retail spaces and indoor and outdoor residential amenities.
The proposal’s design carries a similar flair as Ole Scheeren’s Jenga Tower. But instead of a seemingly random appearance, the form of the twin towers features a fixed alternating pattern of protruding boxes and balconies.
There are also green roofs and void spaces between some floors for outdoor residential amenity spaces.
“The vision for the Barclay towers is to create a vertical community, engaging nature and space with a three dimensional volumetric matrix of residential units, plantings, terraces and outdoor yards,” the statement continues.
“Architecturally, the design will maintain and elevate the character of the West End character and the surrounding neighbourhood.”
Taller buildings are permitted on the Burrard Street Corridor and other corridors in the West End through the City’s West End Community Plan. This same policy also led to the approval of 969 Burrard Street earlier this year – a 56-storey, 556-ft-tall residential tower, with a design inspired by church pipe organs, by Bing Thom Architects and Westbank directly across the laneway from the Bosa Properties site.