The provincial capital of British Columbia is gaining new verticality in its downtown skyline.
Construction is well underway for the 26-storey, 246-ft-tall tower at 777 Herald Street, located one block west of Save-On-Foods Memorial Arena. When complete in 2020, it will be the new tallest building in Victoria.
The tower addition is part of the new, multi-phase Hudson Bay District – a cluster of new mixed-use buildings anchored by the restored Hudson’s Bay Company department store building, which houses the Victoria Public Market.
Developed by Townline and designed by Vancouver-based Rafii Architects, Hudson Place One will contain about 176 residential units and one ground-floor retail space. A total of 285 parking stalls will be built within six underground levels.
Ample amenity spaces are planned, including a dedicated amenity floor with a workshop/hobby room, business centre, guest suite, lounge, saunas, yoga studio, and fitness room. More spaces are located on the outdoor rooftop deck on the third floor, comprising of a patio, children’s play area, dining area, and dog run.
And unique to Victoria is the tower’s incorporation of so-called “sky gardens,” with select floors of the tower stepped back to accommodate outdoor amenity terraces with Arbutus trees.
According to the architect’s design rationale, the overall design of the tower is intended to be a landmark building for Victoria that also complements “the city’s quaint character, charm, and one-of-a-kind feel.”
“The exterior design of this elegant, urban tower, can be seen as a modern interpretation that encapsulates the traditional language of architecture prevalent throughout this beautiful capital city of BC,” reads the rationale.
It also specifically complements neighbouring heritage buildings, specifically the adjacent department store.
“The colours and materials incorporated in Hudson Place One’s architectural design, further speak to and complement its surroundings and neighbouring heritage buildings, including the historic Hudson, while emulating its own unique flair and appeal,” continues the rationale.
The project has a total floor area of 170,000 sq. ft. on its 22,700-sq-ft development site, giving it a floor space ratio density of 7.46 times the size of its lot.
Greater Victoria is not the only major urban area outside of the Lower Mainland that is experiencing a growing development trend of towers.
BC’s third largest urban area, Kelowna, already has two towers that are taller than Hudson Place One, including the 289-ft-tall Skye at Waterscapes.
The Okanagan lakeside city is poised to see a new tallest building with a design and height that would even stir attention in downtown Vancouver’s tower canyons.
Earlier in the year, Kelowna approved Westcorp Waterfront Hotel, a 32-storey, 430-ft-tall tower designed by Barcelona-based GCA Architects with 174 hotel rooms, a conference centre, retail, and a 16th floor ‘sky restaurant’ with panoramic views of the city and lake.