I recently visited the Gesamtkunstwerk Exhibition Hall - the future site of Vancouver House and Beach District, and was amazed by the amount of information provided, from sketches, models, videos, and illustrations about one of the most adventurous building to be built here in Vancouver.
The triangular site, often passed up as un-buildable for tall buildings; Proximity to the Granville bridge; Required safety setbacks from the bridge; Ambitious mixed-use programming. All these factors and challenges came into play when designing the new Vancouver House and surrounding community. But working together, the developer, designers, engineers, and architects have rendered a model that will forever change Vancouver's skyline.
Vancouver House will be one of the tallest buildings in the city. Situated at the North end of the Granville street bridge, it will be an iconic structure welcoming residents and visitors into downtown Vancouver. Designed to be an LEED Platinum building, it will feature triple-glazed windows, vacuum insulated panels, heat recovery ventilation, low temperature hydronic heating and cooling, and water conservations plumbing fixtures.
A part of the project is the new Beach District neighbourhood which will be nestled under the bridge's frame. Aimed to be an updated version of Granville Island, we can expect to see a wide range of retailers, from grocery stores, drug stores, restaurants, cafes, and local services. The area will also feature two public art displays. The first being the Spinning Chandelier by Vancouver artist, Rodney Graham. Installed under the bridge, this crystal chandelier will slowly rotate and rise over the course of 24 hours. Then, once a day, release, and spin back to its original starting point. The second art display will be the 21st Century Sistine Chapel which will be installed on the underside of the bridge, and will display changing photographic content produced with students from the Emily Carr University. This new area will not only be crucial in forming a complete neighbourhood, but will also become a destination itself, which will transform what is now just left over land from the on-ramps of the Granville street bridge.
If you haven't already, I encourage you to stop by the exhibition hall located Beach Ave & Howe St. for a glimpse of the exciting changes to come. They are open until the end of May 2014, at which time the space will be converted into a sales office. Stay tuned for more information on Vancouver House pre-sale info and pricing.