After recent media coverage and speculation regarding Westbank’s new Coal Harbour project at 1550 Alberni, a formal rezoning applicaiton has now been filed with the City, providing some more details on the project. The 20,698 SF site, currently zoned DD and improved with a lowrise office building, is being redeveloped with a 43-storey condo building with commercial uses at street level, including:
- a building height of 436 ft.;
- a total of 188 residential units;
- a density of 14.0 FSR;
- 272,262 SF;
- 271 underground parking spaces on six levels
The application is being considered under the Rezoning Policy for the West End and the West End Community Plan. The site is located at Cardero and Alberni.
The unique design is a partnership between Japanese architect Kengo Kuma for the design and Associates, and local architects James Cheng and Merrick Architecture for the rezoning.
The rezoning package describes the design:
“The design of 1550 Alberni Street is shaped by its environment. The 42-storey tower is carved by two emphatic scoops that form deep balconies furnished in wood. In both instances, the carvings create semi-enclosures that strengthen their relations to the street and to the views – to its urban and geographic context.
Because of the way the otherwise orthogonal tower is carved, its silhouette constantly changes, creating illusionary profiles of arching cantilevers. The reality is far more structured as the carved deductions are diagonally symmetrical, the lower portion helping to counterbalance the hanging volume above.
The tower meets the ground with two intersecting domes that embrace Alberni and Cardero Street. Under the arching structures, an extensive moss garden defines the entrance and flows to the swimming pool above. In keeping with Japanese spatial traditions, the emphasis is on the atmosphere rather than the object: without drawing attention to a particular point laden with meaning, the void elicits a serene visceral
experience that could be shared by all.”