Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)’s 700,000 square foot Beach + Howe development has been approved by the Vancouver City Council. Though concerns still remain regarding the height of the 52-story tower - which is intended to become the city’s fourth tallest building - an overwhelming majority of the council and public seems to be enthusiastic about the project.
“It meets the test at every respect — gorgeous architecture, turning a dead space into a vibrant public space with animation and job space. The housing is diverse and much needed... People have used the word iconic - I think it’s remarkable design to combine so many elements on a tough site,” stated Mayor Gregor Robertson before the vote. “It’s an extraordinary project that deserves strong council support.”
Commissioned by Canada’s real estate mogul Ian Gillespie of Westbank, Beach + Howe promises to add a foreign twist to Vancouver’s skyline and create a new identity for an undefined section of town at the fringe of the city’s residential area.
The 52-story, glass tower comprised of 407 residential units will be perched on top a 10-story podium that offers retail and 95 residential market units on Howe Street. Neighboring it will be a cluster of six-story retail and office buildings occupying the disused, interstitial spaces found between the Granville Street Bridge’s entry and exit ramps.
BIG proposes to transform these dismal spaces, which is unsurprisingly dominated by cars and avoided by human activity, into a cultural and pedestrian destination. Glass “prisms” will provide desirable retail and public space, while existing building facades and bridge surfaces will be converted into a dramatic outdoor gallery. In addition, Bjarke envisions the road which crosses below the bridge to become a host for outdoor markets, festivals and concerts. Impressed, panel member Peter Wreglesworth described the project as “whole composition that is urban art.”
The project will bring a total of 80,000 retail space to the area, including grocery, liquor and drug stores supported by 609 vehicle parking stalls and 723 bicycle parking spaces.
Additional Beach + Howe information and images can be found here.
Reference: Vancouver Courier