Full disclosure: I live in a ground-level suite in the suburbs of Vancouver.
My landlord and her family live upstairs, another tenant lives next door, and there’s an occupied laneway house in the backyard. Everyone is super friendly, but the living situation could best be described as “cozy.”
So, when I was given the opportunity to stay in Vancouver’s most talked-about residential building, I couldn’t wait to get a taste of downtown living. My address for the weekend was 1477 Continental Street: the stunning new rental building at Vancouver House in the Beach District.
Upon walking into the furnished studio designed by the renowned Bjarke Ingels Group, I instantly admired the style and functionality of the apartment. After putting down my bags, I got acquainted with the space and began to explore.
Inside the studio
Many living spaces around the world are short of natural light, but homes at 1477 Continental Street have it in abundance. Floor-to-ceiling windows allow an incredible amount of light to flood into the apartments so inside felt bright and open. A sliding door (that acts almost like a hidden bookcase) opens out onto the Juliet balcony, where glass panels allow more light to come in.
I decided to sit out on the balcony to finish some work and felt the warmth of the sun as I typed. From here, you can watch the world go by on the streets below, look out at boats docked in the harbour, or, wait for it… watch the 14 ft Spinning Chandelier by Rodney Graham suspended under the Granville Street Bridge.
The most adorable French bulldog sauntered on the neighbouring patio — yes, the rentals are pet-friendly! Back inside, I marvelled at the interiors. One element I absolutely loved was the large closet with built-in shelving for extra storage. Subtle and minimalist details like custom cabinetry are seamlessly integrated to maximize living space. In-suite laundry is tucked away in another closet, and there’s storage by the front door for your ironing board, coats, and sports gear.
Each studio comes fully furnished with contemporary pieces by B&B Italia. A smart pull-down bed allows you to create extra space when you need it during the day. Additional furniture includes a sofa, comfortable lounger, and a marble-top table with chic chairs that add an extra touch of sophistication. In the kitchen (which features custom cabinetry), everything you need is there for you — and it’s all brand new.
Appliances like an oven, toaster, coffee machine, and microwave, as well as tableware and even cabinet organizers are already in place. This made moving in as simple as unpacking my bag, so I could focus on the things that matter.
As part of my stay, I was able to see some of the design features in the residential tower that make this project unique. Vancouver House is built on a total design philosophy (‘Gesamtkunstwerk’). The music room in the residential lobby embodies this approach as a unique space for residents to enjoy.
At the foot of the stairs, slippers rest on the floor. A pair must be worn before walking up to the music room as the surrounding materials are extremely delicate. When I reached the top, I saw the pristine custom Fazioli Piano, designed by Bjarke Ingels for Vancouver House. With a beautiful ambiance and decor, the room felt particularly special.
From here, I went to view the residential pool and outdoor area. After growing up in Ireland, I’ve been obsessed with outdoor swimming pools my whole life. But the pool at Vancouver House exceeded my expectations. Lined with marble tiling and surrounded by wooden panelling, the semi-covered pool area boasts a spa-inspired vibe. There’s also a covered jacuzzi pool which offers residents gorgeous views of the city — year-round.
The residential gym at House Concepts gave me another reason to dream about renting at Vancouver House. Due to open this fall, it has everything from an illuminated spin studio, to a heated pilates room, to a selection of exercise bikes, weights, and everything in between. Plus, you can create an account with the Technogym equipment to track your fitness, log into Instagram, or watch a show on Netflix mid-workout (the dream).
It’s easy to see how living at Vancouver House would redefine convenience and the ease of accessing everyday essentials. London Drugs and Fresh St. Market are located on the ground level, with new restaurants (including the city’s first Momofuku Noodle Bar) coming soon.
During my stay, I visited Fresh St. Market to pick up some sushi and one of the popular fresh-baked cookies with crunchy walnuts and melt-in-your-mouth chocolate pieces. The BC-based grocer is known for offering fresh, local products and their first downtown location features an in-store restaurant called Forklift Kitchen & Bar. It felt like I was experiencing a wonderful new side to Vancouver’s food scene.
Naturally, spending the weekend in the Beach District had to include one thing: catching the sunset by the water. Sunset Beach is less than a 10-minute walk from 1477 Continental Street, and sitting on the sand watching the boats sail by on False Creek felt like a mini-vacation. Watching the sun descend behind the mountains is truly magical, and I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to do that every evening for years to come.
Ultimately, I realized that living at Vancouver House puts you in the centre of it all, with your own home base from which you can work, live, and enjoy all the city has to offer.