An exhibition that transforms the lower level of the old Zellers store at Oakridge Centre provides a further glimpse of what the shopping mall’s complete redevelopment will look like, specifically the first phase comprised of two towers on the site’s northeast corner.
‘Unwritten’ is Westbank’s fourth exhibition. But unlike its last general exhibition on its past and upcoming works, this exhibition is project-specific to the Oakridge Centre redevelopment, with a wooden pathway that replicates the design that will be built for the rooftop public park, a Lego play area that will include a complete Lego replication of the redevelopment, various models of the project, project showroom functions, and the new temporary studios of the Goh Ballet. Altogether, there are 11 exhibit areas within the 20,000-sq-ft space.
Daily Hive caught up with Piero Lissoni, a Milan-based architect who has been tasked with designing a new interior living concept for Building Four — one of the tallest residential towers at Oakridge, with 42 floors and 305 upscale homes.
He introduces a new type of minimalist and multifunction design that adds in a flair of the “Italian way of life.”
“It is a user-oriented design. The capacity to offer a contemporary new architecture with a new contemporary new interior… [and] the possibility to put inside each unit something different that is unique from the other units,” said Lissoni.
There are ample common amenity spaces in the tower, including a significant rooftop garden. It is all part of the idea of “combining private life and common life to be a true community,” with the intention of breaking the mould of Vancouver’s condo living.
“It’s not a condo… With a condo, it’s quite reductive. I like the idea to think it’s a completely different approach. It doesn’t matter if the unit is big or small, it’s like a private home compared with other private houses,” he said.
“The idea is empty space with less furniture inside, and the feeling is that you’re not inside a classic apartment, you’re in an open space apartment.”
Emphasizing the concept of creating multifunctional living spaces, he demonstrated how the entire kitchen — like a “machine” — disappears behind a wall with the flip of a switch, and described how beds in the bedroom disappear in the wall to create a studio or home office.
There are also few traditional walls in his designs, with sliding glass walls providing residents with partition options.
“Ideally I’d like to design everything without walls, but in reality you need some partitions because of privacy. We minimized the quantity of partitions, and a lot of that is with sliding glass,” he added.
Each home is decked out with a comprehensive suite of high-tech smart home accessories by Apple, including Apple HomePod, an Apple TV, iPad, and Apple HomeKit. Residents also have the option of acquiring custom-made furniture that uniquely aligns with the interior design concept established by Lissoni.
Pod-like balconies for the units, dubbed ‘sanctuaries’ by the project team, also break the traditional concept of a balcony by establishing a unique space
Lissoni recently opened a new office in New York City, and this project in Vancouver will be his first in Canada.
The free exhibition is open daily during mall operating hours.