430-ft-tall tower designed by world-renowned firm proposed for Burnaby's Metrotown area

Jul 11 2018, 6:38 am

The downtown Vancouver peninsula usually receives the region’s largest and most unique tower architecture designs, but increasingly renowned global starchitects have also been working on projects in the suburban municipalities.

A proposal to build a new 39-storey tower at 5977 Wilson Avenue – a 54,000-sq-ft site near SkyTrain’s Patterson Station, just east of Central Park in Burnaby’s Metrotown area – is the latest example. It will replace a 1963-built, six-storey residential building with 62 units.

5977 Wilson Avenue, Burnaby

Site of 5977 Wilson Avenue, Burnaby. (Google Maps)

5977 Wilson Avenue, Burnaby

Site of 5977 Wilson Avenue, Burnaby. (Google Maps)

The tower is designed by Gensler, which is responsible for the design of the world’s second tallest tower – the recently completed Shanghai Tower. The firm has 46 offices around the world.

For local developer’s BlueSky Properties’ 430-ft-tall Burnaby project, there will be a total of 293 homes, with the unit mix comprised of 34 studio units, 92 one-bedroom units, 138 two-bedroom units, and 29 three-bedroom units. Of this mix, 58 units will be deemed “adaptable” under the municipal government’s standards.

Residential amenities, spanning 12,564 sq. ft. of floor area, include a pool, fitness room, lounge area, private dining room and kitchen, entertainment room, and business centre and study rooms – all within the 16th and 17th floors.

To support the project, there will be 323 vehicle parking stalls and 654 bike parking spaces within the underground levels.

As for the design, according to a City staff report, it is intended to be “a celebration of modern architecture through simplicity in design.”

Artistic rendering of 5977 Wilson Avenue, Burnaby. (Gensler / BlueSky Propeties)

The City’s description continues: “The tower base features a fully glazed double-height lobby that is inwardly-set to convey a sense of ‘airiness’. The tower body, which is rectilinear in form, features a vertical mullion pattern that carries to the top of the tower. Architectural interest to the building is enhanced by a horizontal break at the mid-section of the tower, which features a double-height framed box.”

The project’s total floor area spans 269,910 sq. ft., giving it a floor area ratio (FAR) density of 5.0 times the size of its lot. This includes a 1.6 FAR density bonus, equivalent to an extra 86,371 sq. ft. of floor area, in exchange for the developer’s contribution towards the amenity fund of the Metrotown Town Centre area.

This project is currently in the formal rezoning application, and it is undergoing review by Burnaby City Council.

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