Vertical manufacturing building proposed for historic site of Vancouver's first train station

Aug 19 2019, 1:14 pm

A triangular-shaped, under-utilized site in Vancouver’s Railtown district, right next to the Heatley Avenue overpass into the Port of Vancouver’s Centerm terminal, could become a vertical manufacturing building.

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There is a new development application by PortLiving to the turn property at 711 Alexander Street — the northeast corner of Heatley Avenue and Alexander Street — into a 104-ft-tall, seven-storey, mixed-use building.

711 Alexander Street, Vancouver

Site of 711 Alexander Street, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

711 Alexander Street, Vancouver

Site of 711 Alexander Street, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

The proposed floor area is 57,190 sq. ft., including about 3,600 sq. ft. of ground-level retail and restaurant space, 48,238 sq. ft. of creative light manufacturing space on the upper floors, and 5,380 sq. ft. of office space, mainly within the top floor.

Building tenants will also have access to a rooftop outdoor amenity space.

711 Alexander Street, Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 711 Alexander Street, Vancouver. (Formosis Architecture / PortLiving)

711 Alexander Street, Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 711 Alexander Street, Vancouver. (Formosis Architecture / PortLiving)

The design of the ground level of the building facing the street pays tribute to the site’s historical significance, as it was the location of the first train station in Vancouver.

“The ground floor entry and elevation is a modern interpretation of the station platform, with a long glass canopy, steel columns and maximum street transparency signalling it as a place to visit,” reads the design rationale by Formosis Architecture.

711 Alexander Street, Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 711 Alexander Street, Vancouver. (Formosis Architecture / PortLiving)

711 Alexander Street, Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 711 Alexander Street, Vancouver. (Formosis Architecture / PortLiving)

“Railtown draws its modern architectural language from the dynamic qualities of its surroundings and the industrial/manufacturing history of the vernacular architecture,” continues the rationale.

“In additional to its nod to the manufacturing and transportation industries, both past and present, the south metal clad façade brings a vibrant, playful, dynamic-looking street presence due to an array of various-sized shifted rectangular elements which not only serve as architectural cladding but also act as shading elements for the recessed fenestration.”

Three underground levels will accommodate 54 vehicle parking stalls.

711 Alexander Street, Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 711 Alexander Street, Vancouver. (Formosis Architecture / PortLiving)

711 Alexander Street, Vancouver

Artistic rendering of 711 Alexander Street, Vancouver. (Formosis Architecture / PortLiving)