Location: Vancouver, Canada
Status: Under Construction
Vancouver House announces the entry point into downtown Vancouver from the Granville Street Bridge.
The Vancouver House site consists of three parcels of land, shaped by the Granville Street bridge decks above. The tower and base reinterpret the local ‘Vancouverism’ typology of a new urbanist podium coupled with a slender tower, while preserving view cones through the city and activating the public realm. The tower is uniquely situated with views to both the water and the mountains, granting visual access to the breadth of Vancouver’s natural surroundings.
Vancouver House was the first collaboration between BIG and Westbank, starting in 2011. Located right at the entrance into Downtown Vancouver at the Granville Street bridgehead, the form of the tower announces the entry point into downtown Vancouver from the Granville Street bridge forming a gateway to the city.
The sculptural form of the building is a direct response to the complex conditions of the site. At its base, a 30m setback from the Granville Street bridge/on-ramp dictates a triangular footprint for the building. As the site ascends in elevation however, the tower is able to clear the required 30m setback zone in order to expand and transform the triangular floorplate into a rectangular one.
Vancouver House is comprised of 4 buildings as shown in this photograph of the building model from the north. The base of the tower on the far right is Building 1, the tower is Building 2 and the two smaller triangular buildings flanking the Granville Street bridge are Building’s 3 and 4. Building 1 is comprised of retail, 105 rental residential units and the pool and outdoor terrace for the tower. Building 2 is comprised of 375 residential units and Building’s 3 and 4 are comprised of retail at the base and Creative Spaces up above.
The triangular voids in the centre of Building’s 3 and 4 create communal courtyards clad in Ipe wood for both the users of the Creative Space as well as the general public. The courtyards are accessible from within the Creative Spaces, the street, as well as directly off the Granville Street bridge through a small secondary bridge connection.
You can see from this aerial view looking Southwest the 4 separate buildings that Vancouver House is comprised of. The project is flanked by Pacific Street to the North and Howe Street to the West. Running through the development beneath the Granville Street bridge are Continental Street, Granville Street and Rolston Street.
A view from Pacific Street showing the retail within Building 1 with the residential tower behind.
A view from the tower looking down, the rooftops of Building’s 1, 3 and 4 all feature green roofs and courtyards clad in Ipe wood.
Since the start of construction, photographer Trevor Martin has been capturing the construction of the project from multiple vantage points.
The public art for Vancouver House is the Spinning Chandelier by Rodney Graham. This large-scale chandelier will be suspended from the underside of the Granville Street bridge and spin and torque throughout the day until it releases once a day in the evening.
Small scale study models from 2011 which allow BIG to revisit the evolution of the project at any given time.
The public realm underneath the Granville Street bridge is called the Beach District. Rather than ignoring the surrounding infrastructure, the Beach District will be animated through the retail within then podiums of Building’s 1, 3 and 4, shipping container micro-retail-units and the public art at the underside of the bridge deck above.