Lately Vancouver has seen its share of “starchitect” proposals that offer a break from the monotonous Vancouver high rise buildings we’ve come to expect. Most notably are Britain’s Norman Foster designed Jameson House and Denmark’s Bjarke Ingels Beach and Howe mixed-use tower. The latest design submission by Harry Gugger Studio is a revision of an existing design proposed for the corner of Howe and Pender for the new Credit Suisse Vancouver office tower. The revision doesn’t scream “starchitect” designed building. However, the design has to go through the appropriate approval process so it may still change.
Harry Gugger Studio comes with a great reputation. The studio was responsible for the restoration of the Tate Modern in London and the CaixaForum in Madrid. They are also responsible for the famious Bird’s Nest Stadium in Beijing. To see this underwhelming revision is a let down.
Revisions for the The Old Stock Exchange office building were necessary because the Jameson House condo dwellers in the city’s business district are concerned about their privacy and views. This is one of the problems Vancouver will encounter from time to time as it has allowed some residential development to creep in its business core. One may argue that the residents should know that in Vancouver views and privacy are not a guarantee, no matter how much you paid for that fancy condo.
The Credit Suisse office tower will join under-construction 1021 West Hastings (275,000 sq. feet), 745 Thurlow Street (400,000 sq. feet), and the new Telus Head Office (480,000 sq. feet) as city-approved major office towers in the Downtown peninsula. This does not include an additional 280,000 square feet of premium office space from the renovated top floors of the old Sears building, to be completed in 2015, as part of the building’s conversion into a Nordstrom and Pacific Centre mall expansion.
Images via The Exchange