The 94 unit building, 1684 Alberni by Westbank includes a mix of types and sizes of units ranging from one to three bedrooms. The 39-story tower is set into a six-story podium. The podium has been carefully massed to respond the proposed new development to the east and the existing buildings across the lane on Bidwell St. Vehicular access and loading is from the lane. The unit mix for 1684 Alberni by Westbank is: 13 One Bedrooms, 25 Two Bedrooms, 55 Three Bedrooms and 1 Four Bedroom unit over four levels of underground parking with 180 vehicle parking stalls and 120 bicycle parking spaces.

Inspired by both natural and man-made sculptural forms, this elegant design celebrates the art of form-making in architecture. The form of development is contingent on a continuous architectural spine that ascends the middle of each of the building’s four façades. This ‘weave’ or ‘exoskeleton’ takes cues from repeated structures found in nature; seemingly simple elements that, once assembled, achieve greater strength and beauty. The challenge was to find a simple and elegant geometry that, when repeated and woven together, would reveal a complex system that is both functional and visually attractive. The resultant form articulates a graceful repetition that is simultaneously alluring and dynamic.

The exoskeleton profile for 1684 Alberni by Westbank creates a unique alternating pattern that undulates across the building’s elevations, thus allowing to move away from the typical design of stratified or monolithic extruded towers so prevalent in Vancouver, and for that matter, the rest of the world. With these staggered opportunities, provide are larger than usual, double-height podium villas. The same stepping feature also allows the tower’s balconies to alternate every other floor, animating the building with unique and generous outdoor spaces that are two storeys high. This change in scale and rhythm challenges the typical approach to the tower typology and offers enhanced livability.

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1684 Alberni by Westbank is on the southeast corner of Alberni and Bidwell Streets. The property is relatively level and the site area is 21,607 sf. The proposed concept development conforms to the West End Community Plan adopted by City Council. The proposed FSR is 10.7 and a density of approximately 21,402 sm/238,096 sf.

DESIGN RATIONALE
Inspired by natural and man made sculptural forms, 1684 Alberni by Westbank design celebrates the art of form-making in architecture. The form of development is contingent on a continuous architectural spine that runs up the middle of each of the four facades. This ‘weave’ or ‘exoskeleton’ takes cues from repeated structures found in nature; seemingly simple elements that when assembled together achieve greater strength and beauty. The challenge was to find a simple and elegant geometry that when repeated and woven together, would become a complex system that is functional and visually attractive. The resulting form manages to express a calm repetition that is exciting and dynamic simultaneously.

The profile of the exoskeleton creates a unique alternating pattern that literally steps up the building, thus allowing to move away from the typical stratified or monolithic extruded towers design so prevalent in Vancouver, and for that matter, the rest of the world. With these staggered opportunities, provide are larger than usual podium villas, which stretch two stories. The same stepping feature also allows the tower’s balconies to alternate every other floor, animating the building with unique and generous outdoor spaces that are two storeys high. This change in scale and rhythm challenges the typical approach to the tower typology and offers improved livability.

VIEW ALONG LANE
The podium of 1684 Alberni by Westbank has been carved away on the lane next to the neighboring proposed development so that the tower seems to continue to grade. As a result, a 80’ tower separation is achieved through the podium. Approximately 70% of the facade in this area will be solid walls behind spandrel glazing both to meet the new and stricter energy requirements as well as to provide privacy for the suites.

An indoor/outdoor common play area is located at grade off of the lane along with a street level residential unit that has frontages and outdoor patios on both the lane and Bidwell St. These serve to activate the lane and create a more pleasant pedestrian experience of Bidwell St. as it transitions from Robson St. towards Alberni St.

While loading is not required for this project, a generous loading area is provided to separate the parking ramps and provide convenient access to at grade bicycle parking.

VIEW OF TYPICAL FACADE EXOSKELETON
The single powerful concept of a repeating form that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing results in an ‘exoskeleton’ that weaves up all four sides of the tower to distinguish this tower from others. Without changing form or material, the design achieves a sense of architectural purity that celebrates simplicity and rhythm. The exoskeleton tapers in the middle of each facade to reduce the sense of bulk. The curtain wall complete with curved glass is set back to accentuate the thin spine of the exoskeleton.

To meet the new Green Building Policy for Rezoning, an overall target of 60% glazing vs 40% solid wall was determined to be achievable. To achieve this, vertical strips of insulated solid wall behind spandrel glazing run up the facade to create a subtle gradation effect so that the amount of solid gradually lessens on the higher floors. By using the same glass finish as the windows, these spandrel panels will look similar to the adjacent clear glazing units as light and reflections will bounce off of them in the same manner.

BALCONIES
To emphasize the signature exoskeleton as the primary design gesture, the balconies for 1684 Alberni are completed with frameless glass guardrails which are strategically nestled into the exoskeleton. Secondary privacy louvers are provided to maintain privacy between units and to provide sun shading for the lower units. The resulting double height exterior space is generous enough to accommodate planting and outdoor furniture; becoming a true outdoor living room.

APPURTENANCE
The exoskeleton continues past the roof to conceal the mechanical penthouse and elevator overrun. Unlike most typical towers that deploy metal screens or simply leave the roof clutter visible, the continuation of the exoskeleton past the roof helps elongate the proportions and creates a unique crown for the tower, while remaining faithful to the concept of the repeating form that starts from street level. The sculptural quality of the design in the daytime takes on an equally interesting effect at night. At the penthouses, pulling back the building to lighten the top and avoid unwanted shadows on Marina Park creates additional larger balconies and roof deck access.

PRIVACY LOUVERS
Discrete extruded aerofoil privacy louvers are provided to maintain privacy between units and to provide sun shading and access to sky views for the lower units. They are intentionally finished to match the glazing system so as not to distract from the exoskeleton, which remains the primary architectural gesture. The alternating balconies and privacy louvres ensure that all balconies receive maximum privacy despite appearing very open.

LANDSCAPE PLAN – GROUND
The simplicity of the Landscape design for 1684 Alberni by Westbank complements the highly expressive architecture. It consists of a reflection pond with extensive perimeter green planting to emphasize the aquatic character.

In contributing to the West End mature street tree canopy, the preservation of existing mature street trees will occur along Bidwell St. New trees will be planted along Alberni St. and along the edge of the lane.

Planting will be draught tolerant and will include edible materials to meet sustainability aspirations.

The streetscape and laneway will be animated through the location of the residential lobby entry, townhouse entries and a spa amenity. Extensive green roof areas featuring flowering sedum and ornamental grass masses are proposed on the upper podiums and small trees in large pots at the penthouse roof level patios.

REZONING RATIONALE
Located in the West End, one of Vancouver’s most established and vibrant communities, this proposed new 39 storey residential tower at 1668-1684 Alberni Street is ideally situated just blocks away from local shops, services, the Georgia Street Corridor and the Central Business District. As such, it is perfectly situated to leverage these many civic resources and is supportive of the policies and guidelines as set forth for the West End and for this form of development.

The proposed concept for 1668-1684 Alberni Street supports the WECP in the following ways:
· Located along the Georgia corridor, the future plans for the site will conform to the built form guidelines including but not limited to:
· Strengthening the urban frame along the Georgia-Alberni corridor;
· Reinforcing a dome-shaped skyline of Vancouver’s downtown;
· Providing for appropriate transition in form and scale, and;
· Enhancing public realm vitality and interest through high quality design as part of the
building and streetscape.

Building Name: 1684 Alberni
Address: 1668 – 1684 Alberni Street, Vancouver BC
Developer: Westbank
Architect: Ravery Architecture (Bing Thom Architects Inc.)
Interior Design: N/A
Year Built: N/A
Prices: N/A
Unit Sizes:
Levels: 39
Suites: 94
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 1684 Alberni, floor plans & pricing.

vancouver4life@gmail.com      MLA Realty      778.991.5881

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