The eastern corners of the intersection of Thurlow Street and Harwood Street in downtown Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood could see a huge makeover.
A rezoning application by local firms BlueSky Properties and Henriquez Partners Architects has been submitted to the City of Vancouver to develop the sites at 1065 Harwood Street/1332 Thurlow Street and 1066 and 1078 Harwood Street into two two residential towers.
These sites are currently occupied by four existing low-rise buildings comprised of 98 rental housing units.
The proposed north tower is slated to reach a height of 300 ft, with 33 floors consisting of 98 social housing units, replacing the rental units lost as required by the West End Community Plan, in the lower floors and 50 market residential units in the upper floors.
Across the street, the south tower will also have the same height, but appear shorter as it is located downslope. It will have one less floor and consist of 143 market residential units.
A total of 178 units between both towers are designed with multiple bedrooms designed for families with children.
The towers will have a combined 393 vehicle parking stalls and 377 bike parking stalls within the underground levels.
Residents in the market residential units will have access to a rooftop amenity space while gardens at the base of the towers will provide an additional outdoor amenity with a children’s playground, communal garden, and gathering spaces.
According to the project’s architect, the design’s simplicity and “clean modernism” respects the character of the West End “to create a contemporary building that is highly contextualized with it’s neighbours built decades ago.”
The building’s base will be clad in marble for a durable and high quality finish while several architectural features will feature a wood finish.
But perhaps what really sets this design apart is how the interior and outdoor patio spaces of the units can become one large space, which follows the concept of “the home as an urban retreat” that “brings in light and a connection to the outdoors.”
Exterior glass walls of a unit slide open to allow the living space to extend from the indoors to the outdoors, and continuous floor and ceiling materials visually extend the spaces outwards.
Rendering of living spaces with sliding doors closed.
Rendering of living spaces with sliding doors open.
Quite a few tower developments have been proposed for the West End ever since Vancouver City Council’s 2012 approval of the West End Community plan, including an approved 32-storey residential tower on the same city block at 1055 Harwood Street and a number of projects on the Davie Street corridor like the redevelopment of Safeway into two towers.
More housing is needed in the West End given that it has the lowest rental vacancy rates in the entire Metro Vancouver region.