Anticipated for well over a year now, Brilliant Circle Group has submitted their detailed rezoning application for one of Downtown Vancouver’s most prominent sites. 1445 & 1455 West Georgia, currently occupied by two older office buildings, is located where Georgia and Pender Streets merge, forming a triangle or flatiron shape. The site is considered a gateway to Downtown and is permitted extra height under the General Policy for Higher Buildings.

BCG had filed a preliminary inquiry in 2015 for the 18,158 SF site that was acquired via two separate acquisitions in 2013 & 2014. The more detailed submission seeks to allow for a 46-storey residential development. The proposal includes:

· a building height of 514 ft.
· a total density of 14.2 FSR
· 128 market residential units
· 76 two-bedrooms, 41 three-bedrooms, 9 four-bedrooms and 2 five-bedroom units
· 74 of 128 units have balconies
· seven levels of underground parking
· 160 bicycle spaces
· 5 disability stalls, 39 electric car stalls & 7 visitor stalls

The building design features some interesting floor layouts and structural features intended to reduce clutter on the ground floor while providing seismic reinforcement.

TOWER DETAIL INCLUDE
· The tower includes 40 residential floors elevated above the ground plane approximately 80 ft
· The residential floors are supported on an 8 ft thick transfer slab
· Four amenity floors are suspended from the transfer slab
· Private dining level
· Children’s play area and residential lounge
· Fitness centre
· Upper fitness area and sub mechanical and electrical rooms, required to service the high building height
· Access level from Georgia St. for residents
· Main lobby level and arrival porte cochere at the Pender St. level
· Upper underground level accommodates bicycle storage, BC Hydro project vista, main mechanical and electricalservice rooms, and visitor parking
· Seven residential parking levels with storage lockers and car wash facilities

1445 & 1455 West Georgia St. is a unique and prominent site, which has been identified by the City of Vancouver for consideration as a higher building site, providing a western landmark gateway to downtown.

As the Western Landmark Gateway to downtown, the proposed tower contributes to the intent of the City’s 1997 Vancouver skyline study to establish and make a more identifiable and dramatic domed skyline.

The General Policy for Higher Buildings provides guidelines for development proposals on selected sites where the building exceeds the current permitted height and/or extends into the Queen Elizabeth View Corridor.

· Permitted Height – 300 ft (91m) Outright / 450 ft (122m) Discretionary
· Proposed Height – 514.23 ft (156.7m) from Site Baseline of 39.77 ft (12.12m)
· Proposed height extends into Queen Elizabeth View Cone on Burrard St. (majority of tower in view shadow of Wall Centre)

The proposed tower distinguishes itself as a gateway building at the western approach to downtown, where Georgia St. begins its topographical rise to downtown. The tower form contributes a sculpted silhouette to Vancouver’s skyline.

 

Contact Agnieszka Stryjecka for more information on 1445 & 1455 West Georgia, floor plans & pricing.

vancouver4life@gmail.com      TAC Real Estate Corp.      778.991.5881

 

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TRIANGLE WEST NEIGHBOURHOOD
Triangle West is a 16-block wedge bounded by Coal Harbour to the north, the West End to the south and the Central Business District to the east, where the Pender St. and Hastings St. grid merges with the major city grid, aligned with Georgia St.

Triangle West was initially seen as the expansion area for downtown office space, but when regional policy decentralized business development throughout the lower mainland in the early 1990’s, Triangle West’s office zoning shifted to a “choice of use” and development favoured housing. With this shift to residential, a development plan and guidelines for this area were established with an objective to create a more pedestrian environment with open spaces and upgraded streetscapes. Slim residential towers were prescribed in order to create a sense of openness while preserving and maximizing views.

The site is located in Triangle West, Downtown District, Georgia Character Area (G), Sub-Area B (Cardero to Bute Streets)

Triangle West is characterized by:
· Irregular shaped properties
· Double frontages
· No lanes
· Sloping north-south streets

THE SITE
This unique location forms an 18,158 sf (1,687 sm) ‘flatiron-shaped’ site at the pivotal intersection where West Pender St. merges with West Georgia St., at Nicola St.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE SITE:
· Fronts three streets with no lane access
· Sloping site (16 ft drop from Georgia St. to Pender St. along the east property line and 5 ft drop along the west property line)
· Marks the beginning of the topographical rise to downtown from the western approach on Georgia St.
· City setback introduced on Pender St. for preserving open space further reduces the site width 7 ft, leaving a 48 ft frontage on Nicola St.
· A small public landscaped island, ‘Flag Plaza’, west of Nicola St. completes the point of the street merger
· Site is surrounded by existing residential towers on the north, east, and south. It is framed on the southwest by the
· Crown Life commercial building and elevated water feature

LAND USE
Downtown District Area G, Triangle West existing policy is ‘choice of use’, favouring CD1 rezonings for housing on suitable sites. The residential use pattern clearly illustrates a growing residential community. PROPOSED LAND USE – All Residential

CONCEPT
The principle concept is to strengthen the Public Realm at this unique and highly visible triangular setting at the western gateway to downtown Vancouver.

· Maximize open space on the site and visually expose the merger of these two important streets
· Strengthen the connection between Georgia St. & Pender St.
· Create an Urban Room under the elevated tower floors with landscape features, accessible to the public
· Engage Flag Plaza to complete the triangular, ‘Flat Iron’ setting
· Introduce a significant Public Art work at Flag Plaza, at the western tip of this triangular setting
· Transform the existing solid, service-oriented Pender St. frontage into an open, landscaped courtyard
· Create a welcoming arrival experience for residents and visitors under the cover of a sculpted wing of the tower
· Introduce the city setback from the Pender St. property line to widen the public sidewalk and introduce street trees
· Widen the Georgia St. sidewalk at the west end of the site and introduce street trees
· Integrate the landscape with the tower form to express the triangular and sloping nature of the site

ILLUSTRATIVE PLAN
The Landscape Plan reinforces the site configuration with a series of triangular, folding planes, comprised of both greenspace and water, addressing the multi-sloping nature of the site.

· There is a 16 foot drop from Georgia St. to Pender St. along the east side of the site, creating a bi-level open space
· Pender St. is the principal arrival level to the lobby and underground parking
· Residents and Visitors arrive by car, bicycle or on foot to the lobby under the weather protection of the tower’s olded glass foil
· A 7 foot (2.1m) setback along Pender St. facilitates a widened sidewalk and new street trees
· The Pender street frontage is transformed from the existing solid, service-oriented facades into a triangular, landscaped drive court
· A secondary pedestrian access is provided from Georgia St., introducing views and sunlight to the drive court below
– This upper level access is defined on the south by a greenspace that folds to meet the sloping grades along the Georgia St. sidewalk and, on the north, by a green roof concealing service spaces below
· An open Urban Room is featured under the elevated tower, visible and accessible to all flanking streets
– Access through the Urban Room is provided by a mid-block stair next to the tower core, an on-site walkway that parallels a widened Georgia St. sidewalk and a diagonal, stepped walkway connecting to the Pender St. lobby level
– A cascading water feature follows the sloping site grades, providing noise abatement to the surrounding traffic and a visual feature for the Urban Room and the lobby seating area
· The landscape plan engages Flag Plaza to complete the triangular setting – The design proposes sloping up the cycling and driving surfaces to match the sidewalk level for a seamless connection to the proposed public art site at Flag Plaza

THE URBAN ROOM SETTING
Elevating the residential tower floors 80 ft above street level creates a sense of openness at the public realm and contributes to the downtown network of plazas and green open spaces. This is consistent with the General Policy for Higher Buildings.

· Minimizes the tower footprint at grade
· Maximizes pedestrian and vehicular views through the site
· Introduces a visual outlook for neighbouring towers
· Contributes to neighbourhood green spaces in keeping with the Georgia Street Character Area policy
· Introduces an Urban Room public focus for pedestrian and motorists approaching the downtown from the west end of Georgia St.

ILLUSTRATIVE SECTIONS
As with many properties in Triangle West, 1445 & 1455 West Georgia St. has significant grade changes along its edges.

· 16 ft (4.88m) drop from West Georgia St. to the West Pender Drive Court provides the opportunity to conceal the service functions (garbage, recycling & loading) below the Georgia St. landscaped green space
· Custom sliding panels that access the service functions, provide a backdrop to the Drive Court
· Pedestrian access is introduced on the site through the Urban Room, linking Georgia St. to Nicola St. and to Pender St., under the weather protection of the elevated tower floors
· Landscaped triangular patterns define both vehicular and pedestrian movement through the edges of this flat iron site

STREET VIEWS
Visual interest for pedestrians and motorists is provided into the site’s Urban Room from all streets, consistent with the Georgia Street Character Area Guidelines. Pender St. is transformed from a solid, service oriented frontage into a landscaped drive court and arrival area

TRIANGULAR SITES
Triangular sites at pivotal intersections characterize the setting for Flat Iron Buildings. These iconic building forms fill the triangular site footprint while distinguishing themselves with their unique wedge-shaped forms. The New York Flat Iron designed by Daniel Burnham was captured in Edward Steichen’s famous photo.

CIVIC LANDMARK BUILDINGS
A landmark gateway status implies a tall, slim structure that distinguishes itself from its surrounding context as a visible marker.

Michael Graves Architecture & Design created illuminated scaffolding surrounding the Washington Monument during its restoration. The scaffolding design transformed the solid tower into a glowing form at night.

DESIGN CONCEPT
The concept for 1445 & 1455 West Georgia St. is two fold;

· Create a slender, tapered form tailored to this unique triangular, flat iron site to announce the western landmark gateway to downtown Vancouver
· Elevate the tower floors and minimize the tower footprint at street level to maximize the site openness for the public realm

TOWER SITING CONCEPT
· Introduce a flat iron form into the triangular setting of the site
· Strengthen the triangular form of the site setting by engaging Flag Plaza
· Explode the solid flat iron form to orient the tower facades away from the neighbouring residential buildings for privacy and view protection and to enhance the sense of openness between towers
· Capture views for the new tower between the existing residential towers, creating a balance between new & existing towers, in keeping with the Georgia Street Character objectives
· Angle the northwestern façade 45 degrees to the SW to connect with the strong geometry of the Crown Life
· Building and its water feature
· Orient the tower core to reinforce Georgia Street as described in the city’s Georgia Street. Character Area objectives.

MASSING CONCEPT
The concept diagrams opposite illustrate the transformation of the solid Flat Iron form into a sculpted form that responds to the dynamics of the surrounding context.

FLAT IRON BASELINE
EXTRUDE: a simple flat iron form
ANGLE: to respect the views and privacy of existing residential towers
EXPLODE: to accentuate the independence & orientation of the facades and create the sense of a dual-layered mass
TILT: to create a more tapered form symbolized in a civic landmark
SLICE: the facades at the top to create a skyline silhouette, at mid height to acknowledge the top of the opposite tower on the water view side of the site and at the base to relate to the top of the podium across Pender St., opening views through the site to visually connect Georgia and Pender Streets

SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGIES
The development at 1445 & 1455 West Georgia St. aims to be a deep green, resilient project within the context of its typology as an urban residential high rise. The development strives for a holistic approach putting the environment and people at the forefront of design. The project will be designed for LEED Gold and a minimum of 63 points under LEED Canada NC 2009 and compliance with VBBL 2014, including the Green Buildings Policy for Rezoning, General Policy for Higher Buildings, and required energy targets. Refer to Appendix for LEED scorecard for more detail.

The project has taken action towards finding opportunity for innovation within the constraints of its typology and urban location. Through an integrated design process including sustainability workshops and design team feedback, each design discipline, architectural, electrical, mechanical, structural and landscape design, has come up with ideas to incorporate measures beyond the norm for this Residential project on a unique site in Vancouver. The ideas strive to be holistic in nature with multifaceted sustainability benefits for both the project and the public realm.

There are five key sustainability strategies classified under the following categories:

ENVIRONMENT
· Energy Efficiency & Low Carbon Design
· Sustainable Use of Land & Water
· A Healthy Indoor Environment

SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY
· Community & Social Connectivity

DESIGN INNOVATION
· Green Building Design Innovation

ENERGY EFFICIENCY & LOW CARBON DESIGN
The building will be designed with optimal energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction emissions as a key focus using an integrated systems approach. The system design will focus on firstly reducing loads, secondly harvesting
heat from processes in the building to use for heating elsewhere, and lastly selecting efficient equipment to reduce all power and heating loads associated with equipment operation.

 

OPTIMIZED ENVELOPE DESIGN
Reduce window to wall ratio: Reduced vision wall glazing compared to typical market practice
Glazing thermal performance: Triple pane glazing will be investigated with thermally broken frames for acoustic protection from traffic noise, improved thermal comfort, and improved energy performance
Minimize thermal bridging: Insulated balconies to minimize thermal bridging for energy and occupant comfort
Micro-climate: South and northwest façades will have deep balconies for solar shading. South facing balconies have additional vertical sun screens for occupants’ solar shading and improved microclimate. Screens may be moveable to address individual comfort needs

EFFICIENT LIGHTING SYSTEM
Reduced lighting power: Efficient LED lighting fixtures will be used to significantly reduce the power load
Parkade lighting: Efficient controls with occupancy sensors and dimmable lighting to reduce lighting power and ensure safety
Minimize light pollution: Exterior lighting will be designed with efficient fixtures selected to minimize urban light pollution

EFFECTIVE MECHANICAL SYSTEM
Low carbon district heating: The building will be connected to the Neighborhood Energy Utility (NEU)
Efficient heating and cooling: The building heating system will be a low-temperature hydronic heating system with high-efficiency pumps. Building cooling will be provided though central heat recovery chillers that can recover heat at times of simultaneous heating and cooling
Maximize heat recovery: high efficiency heat recovery on building ventilation will reduce heating load

CARBON NEUTRALITY
Renewable energy: strategies will be investigated such as roof-mounted photovoltaics or solar thermal panels
Embodied carbon: fly-ash will be used in all concrete structures where curing time allows to offset energy and embodied carbon intensive cement ratios. Recycled steel will be investigated for all end-uses

SUSTAINABLE USE OF LAND & WATER
Strategies for efficient potable water use reduction will be implemented in combination with rainwater harvesting, stormwater mitigation and efficient landscape design.

Stormwater management: Quality and quantity control measures will be implemented on site. Stormwater is collected, by gravity wherever possible, to centralized storage where it is filtered and discharged to the City’s storm system
Potable water reduction: Targeting 35% will be achieved through selection of durable and efficient plumbing fixtures
Rainwater harvesting: Rainwater will be collected directly from the sloped curtainwall run-off, and will offset all irrigation needs subject to approval of an engineered treatment system. If possible, the rainwater will be directly used for irrigation instead of passing through the centralized storage
Effective landscaping: The use of adaptive and/or native species will be considered in design such that no potable water is required for irrigation.

HEALTHY INDOOR ENVIRONMENT
Human health and wellbeing will be strategically addressed through various design solutions for the project.

Enhanced acoustic design: Acoustic comfort will be addressed through the appropriate selection of materials and the investigation into triple glazed windows reducing ambient noise
Providing access to daylight and views: Daylight and views will be maximized for human health and wellbeing
Healthy materials selection: Low emitting finishes will help provide healthy indoor air quality
Improved indoor air quality: Use of particle control from dust through the use of vestibules and dirt remediation strategies

COMMUNITY & SOCIAL CONNECTIVITY
The project will take advantage of the sustainable infrastructure of the surrounding area and give back to the community through means of open space, added green space and site transparency
Public transit access: The location of the project is on an existing active transportation and bike network
Foster healthy transit: There will be a resident’s Bike Pump Room next to the Bicycle Storage Room, as well as weather-protected bike racks, for non-residents, at the arrival area to support active modes of transportation
Carbon neutral vehicles: Electrical vehicle charging outlets will be provided for 20% of the total vehicle parking capacity of the site for residential, per VBBL
Biophilic design elements: Integration of nature and natural processes through a falling water feature that will be implemented on site with possible use of harvested rainwater and the use of natural materials

GREEN BUILDING DESIGN INNOVATION
As part of this integrated process, the project team is approaching innovation strategies fostering forward thinking ideas in support of sustainability strategies for the project.

Regeneration of open space: The elevated Tower floors, 80 FT above street level, allows an outdoor Urban Room under the tower, regenerating public green space for the greater community by adding accessible open area to the
existing urban site, in keeping with the General Policy for Higher Buildings
Unique seismic design: An extraordinary seismic analysis in collaboration with UBC will be completed – being thefirst of its kind in Canada to date
Thermal pollution reduction: Recovery of thermal heat while improving occupant comfort both interior and exterior will be investigated as part a Thermal Pollution Reduction strategy
Life-cycle assessment: An embodied carbon analysis will assess the impact from the project’s structural components and carbon neutral materials will be implemented to better understand carbon footprint
Circadian lighting design: Will be part of the residential suite lighting strategy for improved occupant long-term health & wellbeing
No mercury: Complete elimination of mercury containing lamps to minimize toxic waste

Building Name:  1445 & 1455 West Georgia
Address:  1445 & 1455 West Georgia, Vancouver BC
Developer:  Brilliant Circle Group
Architect:  James Cheng Architects.
Interior Design:  N/A
Year Built:  N/A
Prices:  N/A
Unit Sizes:  N/A
Levels:  46
Suites:  128
Property Type:  Residential
Area:  Vancouver
Neighbourhood:  Downtown
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 1445 & 1455 West Georgia, floor plans & pricing.

vancouver4life@gmail.com      TAC Real Estate Corp.      778.991.5881

 

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