5 Vancouver Buildings That Do Urban Design The Best
The City of Vancouver just named its 2016 Urban Design Awards winners, doffing the cap to developments that display visionary thinking and design excellence. Here are five of the top projects.
1. 564 Beatty St
Award: Commercial building
Developer: Reliance Properties
Design: IBI Group Architects
Why it won: The four-storey addition to 564 Beatty has a “restrained simplicity” that sets up an articulated foil for the three-storey heritage base, the jurors said. The south-face restoration has improved the life and richness of the adjacent plaza, and the project serves as a gateway to Beatty.
2. MNP Tower
Award: Special jury award
Developer: Oxford Properties Group
Design: Kohn Pederson Fox Associates + Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership
Landscape architect: Durante Kreuk Ltd
Why it won: The tower's materiality, “rich simplistic shape, draping skirt, and engaging ground plane" pleased the jury, which noted the building is a quiet, respectful response to its urban context, greatly improving the street view, and enhancing the backdrop to the Marine Building (above).
3. TELUS Garden - Office Pavilion
Award: Urban elements
Developer: Westbank Projects Corp
Building design: Henriquez Partners Architects
Landscape architect: Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
Why it won: TELUS Garden's glass and glulam pavilion (above) was a “skillfully handled sculptural element,” said the jury, noting the contribution it makes to the street and its connection to an adjacent laneway “greatly enhance the urban experience of Vancouver.”
4. 250 Powell St
Award: Outstanding sustainable design
Developer: BC Housing Corp
Design: Henriquez Partners Architects
Why it won: As an “outstanding socially and environmentally sustainable project,” said the jury, 250 Powell illustrates a positive message of social transformation through its own transformation, from a jail (designed by Richard Henriquez) into a “dignified” and affordable housing environment.
5. Kwayatsut | 2465 Fraser St
Award: Large-scale residential building
Design: NSDA Architects
Landscape Architect: Perry + Associates
Why it won: Kwayatsut is an “excellent response” to the urban context at Fraser and Broadway, the jury opined, and the building provides a new landmark for the area (a “well-considered, singular, cohesive statement”) while also supplying much-needed social housing and programming.