A staggering new building project with landmark proportions has been proposed for the British Pacific Properties (BPP) on the mountainside of West Vancouver.
BPP has submitted a development application to the District of West Vancouver to develop Area 6 of Lot 1 of its Rodgers Creek Neighbourhood, which is accessible by Cypress Bowl Road and Chippendale Road.
The site is just below the mountain’s 1200-ft contour – the limit line for urban development, with trees topping out at 125-150 ft in height backdropping the building.
According to the application, the proposal – dubbed the ‘Treehouse’ – entails a 12-storey, 92,000-sq-ft building with 37 homes ranging from two-bedroom units to three-bedroom units, reaching no greater than 2,804-sq-ft in size. There is also the potential for “lock-off” suites within seven of the units.
Within two underground levels, there will be 74 vehicle parking stalls and 74 bike parking spaces.
The building’s H-shaped design by Seattle-based Olson Kundig Architects, with collaborations by Vancouver-based Ramsay Worden Architects, is intended to be the flagship project of Rodgers Creek.
It is organized as two vertical volumes connected by a bridging of the eighth and ninth storeys, with the massing and volumes of the units organized in a way to provide a unique design and a break in the form of the massing.
“Rather than beginning with a single impervious mass, the architecture is an assemblage of vertical masses, scaled to the height to the surround trees. The process is inspired by the ecology of a tree, from which two service trunks reach out to capture daylight and fresh air,” reads the design rationale.
The condominium units cantilever off the central cores of the volumes, and these resulting protruding boxes provide opportunities for larger deck spaces and broader access to views.
“Spaces grow and extend organically, reaching southward to the view and northward engaging with the site. These shoots form physical connections to nature, creating outdoor living spaces and at-grade connections,” the design rationale continues. “On the top three floors, the units branch out to form a canopy in the sky. These units will be caught between the forest and the water, offering amazing views and experiences throughout the units.”
A high standard of green building design is envisioned, with sustainability elements including optimal natural daylight and ventilation, solar panels, high-performance windows to retain heat during the winter, energy recovery ventilators for efficient heating and cooling, an on-site rainwater cistern to reduce water runoff, and building materials such as locally harvested wood.
As for landscaping elements, the proponents aim to blend in both the site’s rocky terrain and its vegetation. There will even be a shallow pool of water that extends beyond the courtyard around the building to create an entrance with the appearance of a floating island.
“As one moves across the threshold of water a glimpse of the sculptural peninsula within the courtyard can be seen,” ads the design rationale.
“Once in the courtyard, the full extent of the peninsula is revealed against the dramatic backdrop of the chiselled rock-face. Rock outcroppings and stepping stones are positioned across the courtyard to provide informal access throughout the space.”
BPP’s Rodgers Creek Area covers about 215 acres of mountainside between Marr Creek and Cave Creek West above the Upper Levels Highway and just below the 1200-ft contour. In 2008, West Vancouver approved the master plan for the Rodgers Creek Neighbourhood, which entails 269 units over 13 lots.
The proposal is close to one kilometre east of the future Cypress Village Area – a resort-like neighbourhood with restaurants, retail, hotel, and more homes.