There is a new and improved design for the significant redevelopment of the White Spot restaurant property on West Georgia Street on the border of the West End and Coal Harbour areas.
A newly-submitted rezoning application for the two-third block sized parcel at 1608-1616 West Georgia Street shows two residential towers with a height reaching up to 385 ft with 38 storeys.
The redevelopment is being pursued by China-based property owner Carnival International Holdings Ltd., which acquired the site for $245 million from Shato Holdings, owned by BC’s Toigo family, in 2017.
Shato Holdings originally planned on redeveloping the property on their own, but they did not pursue this into the application stage.
2017 preliminary design concept by IBI Group
2019 detailed design by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and IBI Group
The new architectural concept is by Connecticut-based Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, which notably designed Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers, London’s One Canada Square, Hong Kong’s IFC, New York City’s World Financial Center, San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower and Transbay Transit Centre, and the original design of the Eatons Centre building in downtown Vancouver, — now Nordstrom — and the major corporate offices of Microsoft and Sony Pictures Imageworks. IBI Group is also involved in the project as the architect of record.
The proposal calls for 455 strata residential units, with 200 located in each of the towers, and 55 within a four-storey podium that connects the two towers. This is over 100 more units than the previous concept commissioned by the property’s previous owner.
According to the application, the design represents a relationship of ever-changing reflections and patterns of wind upon waves. The tops of the towers have sculpted faces that show the direction of the wind, in the same way that sails catch the same gust of wind or the movement of waves flowing past a post.
“We chose to shape the towers by sculpting their balcony edges in a playful and expressive manner,” reads the architect’s design rationale.
“These expressions are scaled for Vancouver’s skyline and composed along the facade like the rippling wake of a boat turning in water or like the passing of wind through clouds. The tower tops respond to shadow restrictions while culminating the tower form in an elegant and responsive manner; a sloping gesture nested within vertically expressive tower corners.”
Height limitations restrict the project from being twin towers; three view cones cross through the site, and the western tower’s rooftop structure is restrained to reduce the shadowing on some of the perimeter trees on Marina Square Park, located one block north of the development site.
The redevelopment’s landscaping is described as a “tower on podium” or “tower in the park.” Overhead bridges span the courtyard to connect the podiums and towers.
Overall, the project calls for 433,657-sq-ft of total floor area on its 41,570-sq-ft site, providing the redevelopment with a floor space ratio density of 9.6 times the size of the lot.
The property is immediately adjacent to Anthem Properties’ 33-storey residential tower proposal for the former Chevron gas station site on the western end of the same city block. For this project, the developer has enlisted New York City-based architectural firm Kohn Pederson Fox (KPF), which is behind 5 World Trade Centre tower in NYC and International Commerce Centre in Hong Kong.
A number of other major towers designed by other internationally-renowned architects are proposed or already underway for the surrounding city blocks.