Amazon's first purpose-built office building in Vancouver to open next year

Jun 17 2019, 7:52 pm

By early 2020, a new office building being built at the southwest corner of Dunsmuir Street and Homer Street will be the workplace for 1,000 Amazon employees.

See also

Construction on Amazon’s first purpose-built office building in Vancouver at 402 Dunsmuir Street, also known as the North Tower of the 401 West Georgia Street, is now moving at a rapid pace towards completion, with the exterior architectural details now becoming apparent.

This is an office building addition to Oxford Properties’ city block-sized office complex. The new nine-storey building will create 152,000 sq. ft. of additional office space with a layout oriented for tech firms.

Amazon announced its tenancy in late 2017, and construction began soon after. With its black exterior frame, the design is bold, although at the same time it also aims to provide a scale that respects and complements the adjacent historic Holy Rosary Cathedral.

Amazon Vancouver 402 Dunsmuir Street 401 West Georgia Street

Construction progress on the Amazon office building at 402 Dunsmuir Street (401 West Georgia Street, North Tower) on June 10, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Amazon Vancouver 402 Dunsmuir Street 401 West Georgia Street

Construction progress on the Amazon office building at 402 Dunsmuir Street (401 West Georgia Street, North Tower) on June 10, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

“Decidedly industrial in its design vernacular, the vision for the project is inspired by urban lofts and industrial conversions, which are commonplace in the city, yet the building will provide amenities and efficiencies that older retrofits simply cannot,” reads the design rationale by B+H Architects.

The new building, built on top of the existing office complex’s parkade entrance, includes extensive public realm improvements, including a central courtyard that links the new building with the existing tower. It will be an extension of the building lobbies to provide a seamless transition from interior and exterior spaces.

Amazon Vancouver 402 Dunsmuir Street 401 West Georgia Street

Artistic rendering of 402 Dunsmuir Street (401 West Georgia Street, North Tower). (B+H Architects / Oxford Properties)

Amazon Vancouver 402 Dunsmuir Street 401 West Georgia Street

Artistic rendering of 402 Dunsmuir Street (401 West Georgia Street, North Tower). (B+H Architects / Oxford Properties)

“Integrating and preserving existing cherry trees, the courtyard garden features terraced seating to transform it into an informal outdoor auditorium for special events or an area for respite,” continues the description.

Floor-to-ceiling windows of the retail space on the new building’s ground can open up to the public space.

On the southern end of the property, at the northwest corner of the intersection of West Georgia Street and Homer Street, the existing plaza is in the process of being rebuilt with a design that improves and integrates the area with the new public realm being built. The retail pavilion that was previously a BMO location is now being converted into a restaurant with a large outdoor patio.

Amazon Vancouver 402 Dunsmuir Street 401 West Georgia Street

Artistic rendering of 402 Dunsmuir Street (401 West Georgia Street, North Tower). (B+H Architects / Oxford Properties)

Amazon Vancouver 402 Dunsmuir Street 401 West Georgia Street

Artistic rendering of 402 Dunsmuir Street (401 West Georgia Street, North Tower). (B+H Architects / Oxford Properties)

When ready for occupancy, it is anticipated many of the Amazon employees currently working at WeWork’s co-working office in Bentall Centre on a temporary basis will relocate to the new building.

402 Dunsmuir Street is one of the buildings near the intersection of West Georgia Street and Homer Street that form an Amazon corporate office cluster in downtown Vancouver.

Amazon Vancouver 402 Dunsmuir Street 401 West Georgia Street

Artistic rendering of 402 Dunsmuir Street (401 West Georgia Street, North Tower). (B+H Architects / Oxford Properties)

Amazon Vancouver 402 Dunsmuir Street 401 West Georgia Street

Artistic rendering of 402 Dunsmuir Street (401 West Georgia Street, North Tower). (B+H Architects / Oxford Properties)

Amazon opened an office location at TELUS Garden in 2015, and it has at least 416,000 sq. ft. of office space leased within the Canada Post redevelopment across the street from 402 Dunsmuir Street. By 2023, when the repurposed Canada Post building reopens, there will be at least 5,000 Amazon office employees working in downtown — up from about 1,000 today.

Elsewhere in downtown, Amazon has also leased 100,000 sq. ft. of office space within the recently-completed The Exchange tower.

Most of Amazon’s workforce in the city are software development engineers.

Amazon Vancouver 402 Dunsmuir Street 401 West Georgia Street

Artistic rendering of 402 Dunsmuir Street (401 West Georgia Street, North Tower). (B+H Architects / Oxford Properties)

Amazon Vancouver 402 Dunsmuir Street 401 West Georgia Street

Artistic rendering of 402 Dunsmuir Street (401 West Georgia Street, North Tower). (B+H Architects / Oxford Properties)

See also