Everyone wants a new iconic building, so Oxford Properties brought in Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects to give them just that in downtown Vancouver, B.C. The announcement of 1021 West Hastings and the 35 stories that go with it brings a new wave of design to the downtown harbor district.
Tucked between the famed Marine Building and Guinness Tower, 1021 offers a twisting vertical rise of glass and steel, which works to draw in views of both the harbor and the North Shore mountains. And while this building says fluid modernity at the top, it will retain historic flair at ground level, as the current University and Quadra Club brick façade will remain, complete with a new public green space and possibly a living wall to boot.
“The building responds to both the human-scaled, urban experience and the spectacular climatic and geographic context,” says Paul Katz, KPF’s president. What he may really mean in non-PR speak is: We really like this building, think it fits well in the area to add new life, bring in the views and get people talking and we think you’ll love it too.
The $150 million structure set for completion in 2014 certainly does offer a new look to the downtown core, all while claiming sustainability (LEED Gold is the current target, with plenty of claims on daylighting and using special window shading to cut down on cooling needs). Designed in conjunction with Vancouver’s Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership, Josh Chaiken of Kohn Pedersen Fox turned the upper stories of the high rise into a twisting wave, playing off the more stoic buildings next door.
Chaiken tells Vancouver media that he wanted to complement the two nearby buildings with the curve in his structure, but that his design also works to incorporate water views from the fifth floor on up.
On the west side of 1021 Hastings nestles the square glass Guinness Tower. But more prominently, the art deco Marine Building, built in 1930, sits slightly smaller—22 floors—to the east. With the Marine Building constructed in a stepping-up nautical style with gold coloring, the new Hastings design rises above it looking like a wave, contrasting to the buildings on both sides.
Oxford says the 85-foot wide floor plate signifies the last available site in the harbor district and the group brought in Vancouver’s Read Jones Christofferson Engineering to help ease any seismic or wind concerns with the narrow footprint. When done, the tower will signify the first new commercial tower in downtown Vancouver in nearly a decade. Construction is slated to start this year, although no general contractor has been formally announced at this point.
With 1021 Hastings just a few blocks from Vancouver’s other new icon—the Vancouver Convention Center and its massive green roof—the harbor district continues to offer a bit of architectural intrigue, both old and new.