The proposed re-development of 1055 Harwood by Intracorp & Strand Development is the first rezoning project to be undertaken in the Burrard Corridor south of Davie Street, under the new West End Community Plan. The combination of market and non-market housing will work to enhance the existing community and support the local economy in this West End location. The development will incorporate a simple, modern and timeless architectural design with the base of the building responding to the existing and historical West End context while the tower will address both the existing high-rise building language in the West End, while also providing a new, contemporary visual expression.

The changes to the April 26, 2017 rezoning application include:

· reconfiguration of the parkade entry ramp with access relocated to the rear lane
· a reduction of total floor area from 178,934 sq. ft. to 171,363 sq. ft. and a reduction of FSR from 10.35 to 9.91
· a reduction of market strata floor area from 134,322 sq. ft. to 128,543 sq. ft. while the number of units remains at 82
· a reduction of the number of social housing units from 44 to 43 while the social housing floor area remains at 25% of total floor area.
· the 43 social housing units will be from levels 1 to 8
· the 82 market strata units will be from levels 9 to 32
· four levels of underground parking with 150 vehicle parking stalls and 162 bicycle parking spaces
· a building height of 91.44 m (300 ft.)

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The proposal of 1055 Harwood by Intracorp & Strand Development is guided by the 7 Foundation Plan Principles as follows:

Principle 1:  Achieve a green, environmentally sustainable urban pattern.
The building will be designed to utilize leading edge and state of the art, superior performing green technologies and will meet all applicable City of Vancouver green building policy requirements in effect at the time of rezoning application and environmental performance standards, namely LEED Gold Certification. The urban location of this site greatly reduces demands on civil servicing and transportation networks and facilitates walking and cycling as viable options to the automobile thereby further supporting sustainable urban development.

Principle 2:  Support a range of affordable housing options to meet the diverse needs of the community.
This project will make a substantial contribution to the inventory of affordable housing by ensuring that 25% of the floor area of the building is dedicated to the City of Vancouver as social housing. The social housing component of the building will be designed as a distinct, and independently functioning entity within the overall building. However, the consistent exterior design and complimentary materiality of the two entities will ensure continuity between the market and social housing components. The social housing component of the building will be subdivided from the market component of the building by an air space parcel subdivision with title transferred to the City of Vancouver prior to project completion. Both the social housing and market housing components of the building will introduce much needed larger-than-typical homes which support a greater diversity of housing options for growing families, couples, or downsizing seniors.

Principle 3:  Foster a robust, resilient economy.
This proposal will create hundreds of well-paying jobs for men and women during the construction phase of the building and, will positively contribute to the property tax base. The project will provide a lasting legacy to the community through the provision of secured housing, both market and social, in an area well served by transit and close to numerous places of employment.

Principle 4:  Enhance culture, heritage and creativity in the city.
The approach to the design of this project considers very carefully the existing context, both old and new, of the West End architectural typology. Described further in the enclosed rationale, the development will incorporate a simple, modern and timeless architectural design, with major emphasis on high quality materials, proportions and context. The base of the building will respond to the existing and historical West End context while the tower will address both the existing high-rise building language in the West End, while also providing a new, contemporary visual expression. Fostering creativity is particularly relevant in this instance, as Strand and Intracorp will be engaging both a select group of local design consultants and artisans, and renowned artist, Douglas Coupland to manifest the essence of Vancouver in the project’s design and delivery.

Principle 5:  Provide and support a range of sustainable transportation options.
The quiet, tree-lined pedestrian friendly Harwood Street with its central location to the Davie Village, Downtown, Kitsilano and the seawall will encourage walking and cycling as desired methods of commuting. In support of these more sustainable transportation options, this application will not exceed or maximize parking as prescribed by the Parking Bylaw. On-site bicycle storage facilities and electric car charging stalls will also be provided.

Principle 6:  Protect and enhance public open spaces, parks and green linkages.
The park-like landscaping surrounding the base of the tower is intended to reflect the predominant “tower in the park” character of the West End. The pedestrian experience along the Harwood streetscape is highlighted by a four-foot-high vine covered ‘planting structure’ along the western half of the site frontage which thereafter steps down to boulevard grade in order to formally introduce the lobby entries. This is followed by lush planting for the remainder of the site frontage. The ‘planting structure’ is proposed to be constructed of a contemporarily designed vine covered metal trellis that is intended to tastefully conceal the parkade ramp running from the lane at the north end of the site and traversing along the west and south property lines. Among its virtues, the raised nature of the trellis structure provides an opportunity to create an intimate and shielded private outdoor amenity space for the market component of the building which is located at the sidewalk level. Although the topography of the site, and the 8 foot drop in elevation between the lane and Harwood Street, strongly supports a parkade entrance off of Harwood Street, Planning staff have directed that the parkade connect with the lane to avoid crossing the Harwood sidewalk and street boulevard. The topography of the site presents an opportunity to terrace the landscaped outdoor amenity area for social housing residents directly above the market amenity thereby seamlessly connecting it to the indoor amenity space. A landscape buffer between the outdoor amenity space and the lane will serve as a restful view point through the site for neighbouring residents to the north while also softening the transition between the private and public realm. Consistent with the objectives of Laneways 2.0, the proximity of social housing amenity space to the lane provides an opportunity to strengthen laneway livability and activate the laneway as a more walkable public space. The site’s location is ideally situated to take full advantage of numerous public parks and outdoor natural assets including the seawall to the south.

Principle 7:  Foster resilient, sustainable, safe and healthy communities.
The combination of market and non-market housing will work to enhance the existing community and support the local economy in this West End location.

SITE DESCRIPTION
1055 Harwood by Intracorp & Strand Development has a civic address of 1055 Harwood Street and is located in Area G of the Burrard Corridor Neighbourhood under the West End Plan; it is currently comprised of 2 separate legal lots occupied by an existing 3-storey co-op housing structure. The site is 131 feet deep and 132 feet wide for a total site area of 17, 292 square feet. The site has a southward downslope of approximately 10 feet from lane to street pavement with the west property line situated approximately 130 feet east of Thurlow Street.

OVERALL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM
The development proposal is designed to be consistent with the new West End Community Plan, which requires the provision of Social Housing in conjunction with new development applications with increased density. The site itself, while envisioned for development potential in the West End Plan, is constrained by a very small footprint of 17,292 square feet and a tower in the park typology, rather than a podium, a compact and slender, 5,500 square foot floorplate above 60 feet and an overall height restriction of 300 feet.

The following is a summary of the key statistics for 1055 Harwood by Intracorp & Strand Development proposal. Overall density is not restricted to a specific FSR value, but the form of development must adhere to the requirements listed in the West End Plan as well as other respond to other key policy documents previously noted.

· Site area: 17,292 square feet
· Density achieved: 10.35 FSR
· Social Housing density provided: (25% required) 44,612 s.f.

Total Market Units proposed:
· 2 Bedrooms:  68 units
· 3 Bedrooms:  8 units
· 4 Bedrooms:  6 units
· Total:  82 units

Total Social Housing Units proposed:
· Studio:  7 units
· 1 Bedroom:  13 units
· 2 Bedrooms:  18 units
· 3 Bedrooms:  6 units
· Total:  44 units

SOCIAL HOUSING AND RENTAL DISPLACEMENT
The Social Housing component is a very important element of the proposed development. Livability and functionality have been important considerations driving the design of the lower portion of the building.

Proposed social housing layouts, unit mix and sizes are generally consistent with COV Housing Design and Technical Guidelines, BC Housing Design Guidelines and Standards and High Density Housing for Families with Children Guidelines. Meeting the guidelines in all respects is challenging due to numerous constraints, including the following:

· Multi-level, small floorplate configuration
· Sloping site
· Social housing floors intersected by the tower elevator shaft for the market housing above
· The need to match social housing and tower structural column locations

FORM, HEIGHT AND SETBACKS
The overall form for the proposed building is one that is familiar to the West End. The tower, as proposed, is a 32-storey tower interlocked with a very small 6,300 square foot, seven storey (60’) base, thereafter tapering into a slender 5,500 square foot floorplate for the remainder of the building’s tower element.

The building has been designed as a “tower in the park” with the use of concrete and brick to create an articulated base transitioning into a slender tower with a simple concrete frame featuring expansive windows, spandrel glass and spacious balconies that are predominately inset into the building’s facade.

The tower responds to the existing character of the West End through the utilization of a variety of material treatments, such as brick and painted concrete; both of which are conducive to maintaining the established, domestic typology of the area.

The main tower element is proposed to be market housing, while the seven storey base is principally comprised of affordable, non-market housing, the title to which will be transferred to the City prior to project completion. Although one building, the complex has been designed to function and appear as two separate but interconnected buildings. Prime entrances for each are located prominently from Harwood Street.

The site, located in Area G of the West End Plan, is limited to a maximum 300’ height restriction from the base plane, as governed by the Plan, to which the proposed building height principally adheres. This application is requesting consideration for an architectural feature element to surpass this height in a small way through the utilization of Section 10.11 of the Zoning and Development Bylaw, with the intention being to give the building a stronger presence on the skyline and to screen and enclose mechanical devices, and to provide usable outdoor roof terrace for the residents, without adding any indoor habitable floor area. This extended frame element will also give the residents a sense of security and enclosure on this dramatic perch and add to the simple “minimalist” expression of the building.

The “shoulder” level has been limited substantially to 60’ as directed by City staff and nestles below the upper floor plate area with the exception of the east side.

Consistent with staff direction provided in the September 30, 2016 Enquiry Response letter, the tower has been located 43’ from the west property line in order to provide the opportunity for another tower on the adjacent western property to be constructed. Since the property to the east has an existing tower with a very substantial setback to this subject property (with outdoor amenity space between), the proposed tower has been placed with a 20” setback to the property on the east side. The Social Housing “shoulder” is a bit closer with just over 12’ to the property line.

The typical floor plate above the Social Housing component of the building has been limited in area to 5,500 square feet as prescribed in the West End Plan.

ARCHITECTURAL EXPRESSION
The overall building design responds to the general characteristics of the West End built form for this location and resists trying to overtly stand out from the existing context. Not unlike the recent ‘Jervis’ project, the building attempts to be expressive of a “minimalist” approach to form and detail, with an emphasis on adjectives such as “simple”, “elegant”, and “slender proportions” being the driving design force in the pursuit of a being an integral and pleasant neighbour within the area. Combining these fundamental design principles creates a timeless building that will stand handsomely on Harwood Street for generations to come.

Chasing a “minimalist” formal expression is not intended to preclude the design from being “artful” in the process. The proposal also recognizes its greater location within not only the West End but also Vancouver and the West Coast of Canada itself. Landscape and base building elements are to be comprised of materials, details and artwork reflective of, and indigenous to the area and the overall character of the building. Internationally renowned artist, Douglas Coupland will be integrally involved in the refinement of the building’s interior and exterior, the public artwork, and the landscape componentry, in an effort to express and celebrate our reserved but proud, West Coast, Canadian expression.

In addition, the design also recognizes that there are two contrasting scales to buildings throughout the area. Generally speaking, tower forms in the West End are large-scaled, relatively simple, modular, and often geometrically derived in their architectural nature. Mid-rise structures and short towers in the 6 to 10 storey range can also be found commonly in the area and typically have a finer materiality grain and are often clad with materials like brick and stone with a higher degree of detail, especially at the ground plane.

The proposal recognizes these differing but complementary architectural expressions and affirmatively responds to both with a very simple and elegant concrete tower frame composition, with alternating highly insulated spandrel glass infill panels for the market housing, together with a more complex and finely grained, pedestrian-scaled base expression, using a more “punched” window vocabulary and brick, paneling and stone for the Social Housing component of the building.

PUBLIC REALM AND LANDSCAPE DESIGN
The 1055 Harwood by Intracorp & Strand Development site resides within very easy access to a variety of public outdoor amenity areas. Two short city blocks to the south lies the park and beach waterfront of False Creek opening up onto English Bay and the entire seawall pathway system. Also immediately to the south is the Aquatic Centre for recreational activities. One half block to the east lies direct transit and shopping along Burrard Street and 2 blocks to the north lies the shopping, transport and other commercial and recreational amenities of Davie Street.

On site amenities for the Market Housing include gracious balconies and/or roof terraces for each home. In addition, a generously sized amenity room is proposed at the southwest corner, adjacent the main entrance lobby, which directly connects to a common outdoor amenity area nestled between the lobby and the lush landscaping fronting the site.

Amenity areas for the Social Housing include balconies for a majority of the units and, a large outdoor amenity space at grade, adjacent to the lobby at the southeast corner of the site. In addition, residents of the social housing units will enjoy an indoor amenity space at level 2 that seamlessly integrates with a large outdoor amenity space which faces to the southwest. This outdoor amenity will feature urban agriculture plots, a children’s play area and an outdoor kitchen and dining area.

Laneway treatments along the north property line will reference the West End Laneways 2.0 Guidelines currently under development, that envisions laneways as secondary streets and which seeks to enhance the laneways as more walkable public spaces, potentially with improved lighting, gardens, landscaping and traffic calming. While loading and garbage for both market and social housing residents is accommodated adjacent to the lane, landscape groundcover, hedges and small trees will provide greenspace along the lane.

The Harwood Street boulevard and the tower’s front yard treatments are intended to continue the lush green park-like language that exists along Harwood Street, and provides a gracious formal entrance to both the Market and Non Market Housing components. Each building entry sequence has a gracious pathway, seating and visitor bike parking.

PARKING ACCESS AND GROUND FLOOR PLANES
Considerable attention has been paid to develop the important interface between indoor and outdoor grade level functions within the two lower floors of the building, the challenge of which is doubled by the necessity of providing separate, grade level indoor and outdoor spaces for both the Social and Market Housing residents. Work has been undertaken, and continues to be undertaken, to explore the deficiencies and benefits of bringing parking access from the elevated lane (as recommended in the Transportation 2040 Policy) rather than from Harwood Street.

The design team feels strongly that the most beneficial approach for this complicated and necessary nexus is to provide parking access from Harwood Street in order to best facilitate the delivery of seamlessly connected indoor and outdoor amenity spaces for both social and market housing residents. Planning staff considered the concerns held by the design team related to bringing parking access from the lane, including but not limited to the concomitant impacts to ground plane functionality, but determined that this approach best meets the City’s overall policy objectives.

SUSTAINABILITY
Sustainable design elements have been incorporated into the schematic design of this proposal, and will continue to be a focal point during design development. Preliminary building energy models have been prepared which confirm that the development will meet – and marginally exceed – the Vancouver Building Bylaw requirements for energy performance and the West End Community Plan’s overall green building strategies.

Green buildings should respond to their context and this building follows through on this imperative. The dense urban location is already well served by transit, and is a well-established bicycle and pedestrian-centered community with easy access to City parks, beaches and community facilities. The building’s planning strategy maximizes access to available open space wherever possible, from ground floor patios to podium level and penthouse terraces, and oversized balconies for every home. The building has been designed to be low maintenance and provide a durable and timeless aesthetic, energy efficiency and a healthy environment for occupants.

Planting will be native and adaptive to provide habitat, minimize maintenance, and reduce irrigation demand. Zero waste planning initiatives are developed to foster ongoing diversion of materials from the waste stream through re-use, composting and recycling. Onsite facilities will include storage and collection of: paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, metals and both kitchen and landscape organics. The use of low-VOC, low-allergenic finishes and materials further improves air quality, and water-efficient fixtures and landscaping further reduce the building’s demand for potable water. Shade trees and planting have been maximized to reduce the amount of constructive surfaces that heat up and contribute to the heat island effect. Soil depths of 18 – 30” on the outdoor decks will slow storm water runoff.

The 1055 Harwood by Intracorp & Strand Development project will incorporate a number of energy saving measures including an overall approach to the mechanical systems which anticipates a future connection to a central neighbourhood energy utility. A great deal of attention is being given to the detailing and performance of the building envelope to meet the project’s sustainability goals. The implementation of a maximum 50% window to wall ratio and high performance cladding and insulation ensure the thermal performance of the envelope. Operable windows, as well as hydronic-based heating and cooling systems with Heat Recovery Ventilators in each unit ensure both thermal comfort and access to fresh air throughout the year.

STRAND
Since 1976, Strand has acquired, developed and financed a portfolio of real estate assets with a combined value of more than $6 billion. Strand has been actively involved in a number of real estate sectors, including: the development and acquisition of multi‐family apartment and condominium projects, single family land and housing development, the development of multi‐unit warehouse projects, the acquisition of office building properties, and the provision of mortgage financing to developers for residential and commercial developments throughout North America. Strand is currently engaged in projects with a combined 6,400 apartment units either planned or under development throughout Metro Vancouver and North America.

While Strand has maintained a relatively low profile, consistent with the philosophy of its major shareholders and financial partners, Strand has developed an established reputation for successful real estate investment and development.

INTRACORP
Recognizing the trend towards intelligent urbanization, Intracorp has concentrated its efforts on bringing new homes to where people want to live. Today, every home we create is designed to fit in an established neighbourhood – and enrich that neighbourhood’s profile at the same time. You’ll see this principle at work at The Jervis in Vancouver. You’ll see it at MC2 and Jacobsen in Vancouver, at Orizon in North Vancouver and at Chancellor Place at UBC. Canadian-owned, Intracorp has earned widespread recognition as a premier designer and builder of quality homes that provide lasting lifestyle and investment value. With more than 30 years experience, At Intracorp, we are committed to building extraordinary real estate communities and creating an extraordinary experience for everyone.

Building Name:  1055 Harwood (The Harwood)
Address:  1055 Harwood Street, Vancouver BC
Developer:  Intracorp and Strand Development
Architect:  NSDA Architects & Richard Henry Architect
Interior Designer:  N/A
Year Built:  N/A
Prices:  N/A
Unit Sizes:  N/A
Levels:  32
Suites:  125 in which 82 are market strata and 43 are social housing units
Property Type:  Residential
Area:  Vancouver
Neighbourhood:  West End
Deposit Structure:  N/A
Cost/Square Foot:  N/A
Monthly Maintenance:  N/A
Cost To Purchase Parking:  N/A
Cost To Purchase Storage:  N/A

 

Contact Agnieszka Stryjecka for more information on 1055 Harwood (The Harwood), floor plans & pricing.

vancouver4life@gmail.com   MLA Realty      778.991.5881

 

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