Construction begins on The Butterfly tower in downtown Vancouver (RENDERINGS)

Jul 8 2019, 8:43 pm

One of the last architectural designs to be directly influenced by late architect Bing Thom is now deep into its construction phase.

See also

A half-city-block site at 1019 Nelson Street is being excavated for the development of Westbank’s The Butterfly — a mixed-use redevelopment that incorporates the adjacent historic First Baptist Church at the northwest corner of the intersection of Burrard Street and Nelson Street.

Construction is currently on pace for completion by 2022.

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Construction of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver, on July 7, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Construction of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver, on July 7, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

The developer partnered with the church on this project, which is being built on the church’s former ground-level parking lot and two lots that previously held older residential structures up to three storeys.

The redevelopment’s main component is the 556-ft-tall, 57-storey luxury residential tower, taking on a form that takes inspiration from church pipe organs.

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

A total of 331 homes are packed within this tower, which will be one of the tallest towers in downtown. In fact, it will appear taller than it actually is in the skyline because of the site’s high elevation of about 120 ft above sea level.

For the same reason, the adjacent One Wall Centre, with its height of 491 ft, has an appearance that protrudes above downtown’s tabletop skyline.

The tower’s facade is established with curved glass and sculptural, concrete forms to create a pattern of “waving clouds.” All of this is further highlighted by pure white floors and ceilings.

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

“The unique form of the tower will provide Vancouver with a bold new iconic landmark that highlights the highpoint of the downtown peninsula and the historic gateway into the West End,” reads a description by Revery Architecture, formerly known as Bing Thom Architects.

The appearance of this tower is also granted by the introduction of shared outdoor garden spaces on each level that create social spaces for neighbourly interaction between the residents on every level. These outdoor spaces also double as breezeways to reduce energy consumption by allowing for natural ventilation, thereby reducing the tower’s reliance on conditioned circulation spaces and artificial lighting.

One of the amenities that residents will have access to will be a long two-lane, glass-roofed swimming pool built into the third floor of the tower facing the laneway. The arched roof of this pool acts as an architectural centrepiece on its own.

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

Just to the west of the tower, the redevelopment includes a seven-storey podium building with 61 units of social housing.

And to the tower’s east, a glass galleria will be built as a connection and integration between the tower podium and the 1911-built stone church building, which will be restored and rehabilitated as part of the project. The tower podium also includes 45,000 sq. ft. of new and expanded community spaces for the church and its congregation, including a 37-space daycare, multi-purpose rooms, gymnasium, counselling centre, cafe, and church offices.

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

Ample ground-level public spaces with significant landscaping and water features are planned.

But all of this is only accomplished by tacking on $91 million in additional costs to the project, in the form of community amenity contributions. This accounts for the social housing component, the in-kind value of $22 million for the renovation and expansion of the church, and a $65-million cash contribution to the municipal government.

This city block could potentially become the site of two tall towers. Earlier this year, the proposal to redevelop 1059-1075 Nelson Street — the western end of the block — were revived with a new design by British-based firm WKK. This revised design calls for a 551-ft-tall, 60-storey tower with 485 homes, including 113 social housing units, 49 market rental units, and 323 market ownership units.

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

The Butterfly 1019 Nelson Street Vancouver

Artistic rendering of The Butterfly at 1019 Nelson Street, Vancouver. (Revery Architecture / Westbank)

See also
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT