Jameson House / Foster + Partners

© Nigel Young

Architects: Foster + Partners
Location: Vancouver,
Co-architects: Walter Francl Architects Inc
Consultants: Yolles, Vermeulens Cost Consultants, Imec Mechanical Ltd., PWL Partnership Landscape Architects Inc., Claude Engle Lighting Consultant, Bridge Electric Corp., Imec Mechanical Ltd., Piers Heath Associates, Robert Lemon Architect Inc.
Client: Jameson House Ventures Inc, Pappajohns (previous client)
Year: 2004-2011
Photographs: Nigel Young / © Foster and Partners

© Nigel Young

Designed by Foster + Partners, the Jameson House is a new 35-storey mixed-use tower in the heart of Vancouver and includes the first residential development to be completed by the practice in North America. Combining the restoration of heritage buildings with new construction, their main objective was to integrate the lower level offices and shops with the existing streetscape to reinvigorate the downtown neighborhood. Doing so allows the apartments above to enjoy dramatic views of the bay and create a new landmark on the skyline.

© Nigel Young

Fusing old and new, the site connects the city’s financial center with its emerging creative hub, and the scheme integrates two 1920s Beaux Arts structures: the entire internal double-height volume of the A-listed Ceperley Rounsfell Building has been returned to its original configuration and the facade of the B-listed Royal Financial Building has been retained.

© Nigel Young

The development comprises eleven storeys of offices and shops, topped by twenty-three storeys of apartments. The tower’s form articulates these different functions: the first two storeys continue the row of shop units at street level, while the uppermost office floor aligns with the cornice line of the adjacent building. Contrasting with the flush facade of the offices, the residential floors curve outwards in four wide bays, which are staggered to allow daylight to reach neighboring buildings and oriented to provide uninterrupted views of the landscape.

© Nigel Young

The tower’s flexible plan supports a variety of apartment types, with interiors by and living spaces in the deep curve of the window bays. At the top of the tower are two-storey penthouse apartments and landscaped roof terraces.

© Nigel Young

The design was developed in response to the local climate, seasonal sun paths, prevailing winds, humidity levels, air temperatures and precipitation rates specific to Vancouver. Foster + Partners’ in-house engineering group – formerly PHA Consult – has been involved in the project from the outset, in a fully integrated approach to environmental engineering and architectural design. This has led to innovations such as chilled floors and a mechanized valet parking system, which reduces the number of parking levels and associated excavation, lighting and ventilation requirements.

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Cite: "Jameson House / Foster + Partners" 02 Feb 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 Oct 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=204699>
  • http://www.novarchitectura.com Nov-Ego

    Foster is a master architect, but I always feel that something is missing from his projects. That something that makes you make your mark in the history books.

  • randomfischer

    Those circular apartment rooms are quite interesting.

    I think the integration with the 1920s Beaux Arts structures isn’t done well. Yes, the lines in elevation line up and the scale and proportion fit well. But Foster’s addition just looks very generic, and not particularly refined next to its neighbor. I feel like there’s an opportunity lost to reference the play of solid and void. Just etching the lines is after all, a bit of a shallow reference, no?

  • Hanxiao Liu

    It gave you a pretty consistent experience from the lobby to the elevator, but when you get out of the elevator, you suddenly feel that the corridor is so much under renovated – uses of the material, the lighting etc. are not well thought out. May be it’s the budget, or may be it’s trying to create a warmer atmosphere before you enter the unit?…
    The unit itself is pretty decent, and I particularly like the bathroom.

  • Gordon

    The market had a bit of a hiccup during construction, and apparently a new developer took over, and likely had to make budget cuts where they could.