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39-storey tower with 'exoskeleton' exterior proposed for West End

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Kenneth Chan Sep 19, 2017 9:12 am 4,181

Another tower with an impressive architectural flair has been proposed for Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood.

Local developer Westbank has submitted a rezoning application to the City of Vancouver to build a 39-storey market residential tower with a six-storey podium at 1668-1684 Alberni Street, the southwest corner of Alberni Street and Bidwell Street – just north of Robson Street.

As the site falls within a view cone, the tower’s height is limited to only 385 ft, but it still achieves a relatively high density of 10.7 FSR. Site preparation will necessitate the demolition of two buildings that currently occupy the property.

The proposal falls under the West End Community Plan and calls for 94 residential units, including 55 units with three bedrooms designed for larger families.

To support the residents, there will be 180 vehicle parking stalls and 120 bike parking stalls within four levels of underground parking.

Artistic rendering of the proposed tower at 1668-1684 Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver. (Bing Thom Architects / Westbank Projects)

According to Bing Thom Architects, the local firm responsible for the project’s design, the form of the development represents a ‘weave’ or ‘exoskeleton’ and takes cues from structures that also take repetition in nature.

“The challenge was to find a simple and elegant geometry that when repeated and woven together, would become a complex system that is functional and visually attractive. The resulting form manages to express a calm repetition that is exciting and dynamic simultaneously,” reads the design rationale.

“The profile of the exoskeleton creates a unique alternating pattern that literally steps up the building, thus allowing us to move away from the typical stratified or monolithic extruded towers design so prevalent in Vancouver, and for that matter, the rest of the world.”

Artistic rendering of the proposed tower at 1668-1684 Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver. (Bing Thom Architects / Westbank Projects)

The staggered pattern also allows the balconies on the tower to alternate every other floor, which animates the building with outdoor spaces that are two-storeys high.

Residents will have access to a number of amenities, such as an amenity spa with private massage rooms, and a large multipurpose room on the main floor. On the laneway side of the building, there will be an outdoor dining area with an outdoor kitchen, BBQ, children’s play and social area, and bench and patio seating for residents to use.

The building’s facade along Alberni Street will be fronted by a reflecting pool and a pedestrian bridge spans over the pool for the foot connection to the building’s main entrance.

A public house for the development is scheduled for Thursday, September 21 from 5 pm to 8 pm at the Crystal Ballroom in the Empire Landmark Hotel at 1400 Robson Street.

The project is immediately adjacent to another major proposed development – a 42-storey tower with 276 rental units by Hollyburn Properties.

Artistic rendering of the proposed tower at 1668-1684 Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver. (Bing Thom Architects / Westbank Projects)

Artistic rendering of the proposed tower at 1668-1684 Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver. (Bing Thom Architects / Westbank Projects)

Artistic rendering of the proposed tower at 1668-1684 Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver. (Bing Thom Architects / Westbank Projects)

Artistic rendering of the proposed tower at 1668-1684 Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver. (Bing Thom Architects / Westbank Projects)

Artistic rendering of the proposed tower at 1668-1684 Alberni Street in downtown Vancouver. (Bing Thom Architects / Westbank Projects)

How the proposed development at 1668-1684 Alberni Street relates to proposed and planned buildings in the vicinity. (Bing Thom Architects / Westbank Projects)

See also

 


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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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