"Think of Vancouver House as a giant curtain, at the moment of being pulled back to reveal the world to Vancouver and Vancouver to the world."
- Bjarke Ingels, Vancouver House Architect
I found it hard to believe that over the past 20 years of high-rise building development in Vancouver, that we have yet to reveal this city and all its magnificence to the rest of the world. With stunning cloud-piercing glass towers and seaside views that burn the perfect pacific sunset into you mind for life, Vancouver already has what it takes to convince any visitor that this place is special.
On May 7th I was invited to a private event at the Vancouver House presentation centre (1480 Howe St.). I ride over, holding any high expectations back. With so many recent developments that claim 'iconic' status, I am left with consistent disappointment. I maintain low expectations when a new hyped project appears with displays that mimic an Ikea showroom, a potential buyer is only seeing the face of the body. Yes it might be pretty but it doesn't give you any idea about the bones the body is built on, the heart that pumps the buildings blood or the character that really matters.
Stepping into the presentation centre I am struck by the lack of a display model with colourful flashing lights and other budget-busting glitter and glam that educated buyer have no interest in. With rows of seating like a school room and an audio walk-about tour... this was not a presentation centre experience I had been to before. I was seeing tables of displays of cardboard cut-outs and foam structural carvings. Educating history lessons and engineering calculations masked the white walls, I was obviously not here to be sold anything or be bombarded by reps telling me when I should be bringing my clients in to buy the next phase of sales.
I spent more time in this presentation centre than any other before, and enjoyed every second of it. Check out the masses of raw material that was displayed for you to touch and feel.
Individuals from the design and engineering team openly spoke about their insight on the pre-conception of this 'child' these innovators gave birth to. Each of them had real passion for their project. This passion radiated through the architects, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group) and developers, Westbank and into the sales representatives that seemed more interested in talking about their favorite funky design detail then how many clients I have interested and when I wanted to get them in for private introductions.
So what should you know
about this project and
what makes this project
Start with the obvious, The Design.
It's a complicated design. The triangle base of the structure is around 6000sf and at its top full size square levels come to 13,000sf, so the question is how can it support such a change in shape, size and weight? The challenge was to take the loads from the wider higher floors then transfer them back to support columns and the building’s core, while at the same time dealing with seismic and wind load factors for a non-symmetrical building.
- Elongated walls on the flat side of the building resist the bending forces
- A closed box design in the centre of the building resists the twisting forces
- Offset columns are restrained by the core walls via the floor slabs
- Steel beams are embedded in doorway headers
- Horizontal post-tension cables transfer loads to columns and sheer walls
- Vertical post-tension rods encased in concrete shear wall give the structure superior standing strength
It's built strong.
What is Super Prime real estate? The combination of breathtaking architecture, extremely high quality execution, a key location in a pinnacle city, context of rich amenities and unforgettable views. There are only 14 cities that hold Super Prime real estate currently and Vancouver was bound to be one of these prestigious locations with its high quality of living, infrastructure and liveability.
The whole interior design has a mirror effect from details derived from the building’s exterior. Material selection consists of cool grey tones and copper features like the balconies on the south and east facades. This juxtaposition between cool and warm is felt throughout the entire project giving depth and personality while holding onto a single character. Consistent flow between the lobby, mailbox room, elevator lobby, residential corridors and main staircase leading to the floating lounge all show a clean elegant design that holds a minimalistic feel.
‘The Spinning Chandelier’ designed by Vancouver artist Rodney Graham will be a stunning centrepiece for the new 'Beach District' as Westbank describes it. The Chandelier will be suspended from the underside of Granville Street Bridge. At 9:00pm each day it will complete its revolving dance, almost like a new 9 o’clock gun, but very different!
Another piece of modern art worth noting is an installment of public art residing on the underside of the Granville Street Bridge. Large colour photographs from light boxes will illuminate the street. These are boxes lit from the inside with digital projection, alternating images, adding to the nighttime streetscape. All artwork will come from students of Emily Carr University.
Working in the 5 Diamond Vancouver hotel business for many years I understand what a concierge brings to a building. These are exceptional individuals in every way. They not only look the part but provide a level of service to the highest degree. They are the heart and character that holds a consistent familiarity to a building and there is no better concierge, then a Fairmont Pacific Rim concierge. These will be the trusted experts behind the desk at the new Vancouver House
The rooftop will hold a giant 25 meter long heated pool. It will be sheltered from wind and rain but open to the morning sun and open sky, the best of both worlds. This is a concept that hasn't been seen well-executed in Vancouver before so it will be interesting to see how it develops.
Vancouver House will have its own wellness and recreation centre. This will be run by a private operator and plans to offer a variety of programs, classes and expertise available to all residence. A nice selling feature considering it's only an elevator ride away.
BMW has stepped forward as the designated fleet vehicle for the Vancouver House. It will be offering its newest vehicles that have yet to be released to today's market, the i3 and i8 models.
The Beach District? It isn't really here yet but with the development of the Vancouver House we will see extensive additions to retail, hospitality, office and cultural development space. Proposed to have 60,000sf of retail space and 80,000sf of office, restaurant and cafe space, this 'Beach District' will not just be a mini-mall but an epicentre for shopping, attractions, markets and street celebrations.
Simply put, Vancouver House will be one of the most technologically advanced high rise residential buildings in the world. It is designed and built to be one of the world’s first LEED platinum-certified residential towers. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system recognized as the mark of excellence for the 'green' building. The goal of LEED is to minimize the eco-footprint and environmental impact of the residence and building alike while keeping the heating, light, and operating cost to a minimum.
Some systems worth noting
- Heat recovery ventilation
- Hydraulic heating and cooling
- Water conservation plumbing fixtures
- Triple glazed windows
- Vacuum insulated composite wall panels (an amazing feature developed in part by NASA)
- Motion sensing LED lighting
World Housing. This isn't just talk, this is doing something! For every home sold in Vancouver House, a home will be built for a family in need in some of the world’s most deserving areas.
This is called the One-for-One Real Estate Gifting Model and I believe this is an aspect of home building that should be modelled by developers across the city. The Vancouver House alone will build over 400 homes in other countries for people that need it most.
Now you know 'All there is to know' about the Vancouver project.
What are the figures that a buyer needs to know?
The cost for an expert Realtor that knows everything and everyone possible about the Vancouver House project to make your buying experience effortless is ZERO. This cost is borne by the developer, so please feel free to call or email me.
If you would like a private showing with the Vancouver House team to learn more about this project please contact me for a private showing. Space is limited and units will not sell slowly. Appointments start as early as June 21.
604 442 9325
These are only a few of the plans I picked to post. If you would like more information about any of these plans or other that are available please feel free to call or email me at 604-442-9325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.