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Narrow 10-storey residential building proposed for Vancouver's Chinatown

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Kenneth Chan May 30, 2018 2:12 pm 1,091

A narrow site in Vancouver’s Chinatown wedged between the Keefer Bar and the site of the controversial proposed project by Beedie Development could become a 10-storey mixed-use building.

James Schouw and Associates have applied for a development application for the vacant site at 129 Keefer Street, which has a street frontage of just 49 ft. in width.

129 Keefer Street Vancouver

Site of the redevelopment for 129 Keefer Street, Vancouver. (Stantec Architecture / James Schouw and Associates)

129 Keefer Street Vancouver

Site of the redevelopment for 129 Keefer Street, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

129 Keefer Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the design for 129 Keefer Street, Vancouver. (Stantec Architecture / James Schouw and Associates)

The 88-ft-tall proposal calls for 5,713 sq. ft. of commercial space split into three units on the ground floor, with two units fronting Keefer Street and a third unit fronting the laneway.

Within the upper floors, 29,100 sq. ft. of residential space is proposed. There will be 32 market residential units, with the unit mix comprised of 12 studio units, 12 two-bedroom units, and eight three-bedroom units.

129 Keefer Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the design for 129 Keefer Street, Vancouver. (Stantec Architecture / James Schouw and Associates)

A “generous” eastside setback provides space for two residential amenity patios, in addition to the double-height indoor amenity space on the rooftop.

Two underground levels will contain 26 vehicle parking stalls, and access to the garage will only be by a vehicle elevator from the laneway.

Overall, the building will have a total floor area of 51,700 sq. ft., giving it a floor space ratio density of 7.04 times the size of its lot.

129 Keefer Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the design for 129 Keefer Street, Vancouver. (Stantec Architecture / James Schouw and Associates)

129 Keefer Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the design for 129 Keefer Street, Vancouver. (Stantec Architecture / James Schouw and Associates)

129 Keefer Street Vancouver

Cross-section of the design for 129 Keefer Street, Vancouver. (Stantec Architecture / James Schouw and Associates)

The design of the proposal offers a contemporary take on the area’s unique heritage architectural style.

“[The] Keefer Street frontage reinterprets Chinatown’s brick wall and cornice heritage composition,” reads Stantec Architecture’s design rationale. “Within this contemporary frame, balconies are utilized to create two multi-storey architectural components… to bring down the composition to a more human scale.”

“To achieve a contextual solution, the composition of those two components make use of heritage projected bay windows, that are found in numerous buildings within Chinatown, while utilizing contemporary components to define its materiality such as coloured ceramic frit patterns on guardrails and privacy screens.”

129 Keefer Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the design for 129 Keefer Street, Vancouver. (Stantec Architecture / James Schouw and Associates)

129 Keefer Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of the design for 129 Keefer Street, Vancouver. (Stantec Architecture / James Schouw and Associates)

Warm colour Chinese ornamental panels on the glass window facade provide a flair of faux heritage to contrast with the general contemporary approach to the building.

This design is actually a significant revision from the previous iteration that heavily revolved around a faux heritage theme. Another nearby proposal at 239 Keefer Street went through a similar revision to a contemporary style.

The project’s site is immediately east of Beedie Development’s 105 Keefer Street proposal, which was rejected by the city’s Development Permit Board (DPB) in November 2017.

The DPB is scheduled to review 129 Keefer Street on June 11.

239 Keefer Street Vancouver Chinatown

Artistic rendering of 239 Keefer Street in Vancouver’s Chinatown district. (Mallen Gowing Berzins Architecture)

The rejected 105 Keefer Street proposal. (Merrick Architecture / Beedie Living)

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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