Architecture

Bjarke Ingels’ 52-storey landmark Vancouver tower approved by City Council

By Kenneth Chan | 9 months ago | Speak Up

Vancouver City Council has unanimously approved a proposal to build a 497-foot tower designed by world renowned Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) at the north end of the Granville Street Bridge

The speakers at last night’s public hearing, including many local residents, were generally in favour of the project. It likely influenced City Council’s rezoning decision, which came down to a resounding 11-0 “yes” vote giving local developer Westbank Corporation the final stamp of approval it needed to construct the 52-storey tower – the fifth tallest in the city.

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

 

The decision also comes after the City of Vancouver’s Urban Design Panel ratification in February of the design and built form of the structure. The mixed-used tower at the intersection of Beach Avenue and Howe Street (1400 Howe Street) ventures far away from the ‘cookie cutter’ condo buildings that dominate the city and could be the much-needed game changer that will encourage other developers and architects to think more creatively.

The building starts off with a triangle base and arrives at the top as a rectangular shape to set it back from vehicle traffic running on the Granville Street Bridge. It also carries a unique facade that mimics a bee hive’s honeycomb.

This new addition will settle prominently as a starchitect landmark in the downtown Vancouver skyline and will provide the city core and the north end of the bridge with a proper ‘welcoming gateway.’

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Aside from its main tower, the $400-million, 650,000 square foot project (floor to square ratio: 5.08) will also include a 10-storey podium with retail and residential plus two 6-storey triangular shaped buildings for offices and retail at a site across the street at the intersection of Granville and Pacific Streets.

407 market residential units will be built into the main tower while the 10-storey podium will carry 95 market rental units. In total, it will bring 80,000 square feet of new retail to the area, including grocery, liquor and drug stores, and will be built with 609 vehicle parking stalls and 723 bicycle parking spaces.

The project also consists of a major public realm component that will greatly change the vibrancy of the area. It will feature public plazas and street animation beneath the bridge that will give the city a new covered event space with a capacity of holding 2,800 people as well as an outdoor gallery installation on the underside of the bridge.

The buildings will be topped off by green roofs and the entire project will strive for LEED Gold certification. The complex’s design also gives consideration to the City’s plan to eventually remove the bridge loop ramps located across the street from the project site.

What are your thoughts on the project? Let us know by commenting below.

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Beach and Howe Tower / 1400 Howe Street / Bjarke Ingels Group BIG

Images: Westbank / Bjarke Ingels Group

Speak Up

  • lu xu

    I went to the BIG lecture last year, he talked about this. It’s pretty intereting, the more interesting thing is our city approved! would be fun to see it eventually

  • Selo

    If you live in Vancouver, leave the Westbank units to Chinese businessmen shopping for units in Vancouver online and will be wooed by these computer graphics and talk to real owners of Westbank units. Google about the Woodwards building, and read how Westbank installed faulty countertops and still refuses to take responsibility despite. Again in Woodwards, tens of units had to have their showers replaced because Westbank will cut cost using bad contractors. Also, if you are ever walking down Cordova coming towards Abbott on an even mildly hot day, smell the stinking trash in the air because of again Westbank’s bad planning and use of cheap materials, in this case the entire trash room ventilation system. They are going to project artwork underneath the bridge? Big deal …

  • Bob Dobalina

    Why is that little kid trying to punch the crossing guard? The near future in Vancouver is dark.

  • Bon Jovi

    Thats pretty swag.

  • mulej

    Bob, He’s giving the crossing guard a high five. Perhaps it’s your perception of things that’s dark.

  • hating vancouver these days

    this city will approve anything to the immigrant dollars coming and driving up prices. I can wait for the traffic closures! this city is a sad nightmare and more of the same $$$$ for a shiity thieving city hall.

  • Big Moo

    The kid and crossing guard are about to hi-five. It’s delightful and simple fun. The future is wonderful.

  • HelloCDN

    Perhaps you should spend less time hatin’ and more time workin’ to earn more money and finally get a life.

  • Steve v.

    I usually have concerns with what is being removed,.. but I think the footprint of this one hits nothing I’m particularly attached to,.. and if the diagrams are accurate,..it looks like the areas around the base will improve things for pedestrians – it is horrible there now. I can’t help but notice though that none of the demo drawings have the middle of the Granville bridge laid out like an earlier, but not implemented, proposal to have a pedestrian/cycling channel down the middle. It seems odd to me to not deal with cycle bottlenecks like bridges with no lanes at all, but lay down paths in places they aren’t needed nearly as much (like Kits beach). Is the city trying to de-prioritize that project? It seems to have disappeared.

  • Wolfganganzen

    I never understand people that hate living here. If you don’t like Vancouver, just move. The cost of living almost anyhere in Canada is cheaper than living here. I personally LOVE Vancouver and think it’s worth every penny.

  • Dave

    well it is a great city…but worth every penny? no, not really.

  • anon

    also, why is group of people proudly wearing red and white everything with flags too? is it canada day?

  • Anthony

    Considering these concept images are based off of photos of the existing structure and are not associated with City, you’re pretty wrong on your assumption that Council has killed the cycling path on the GSB. However, if they did kill it, I would applaud them for not screwing with something that is not broken.

  • Talldoug

    What is going to happen at the very corner of the site at Howe and Beach? Should it not be integrated into the plan? The renderings show a ghosted old garage station.

  • Max

    its a high five. relax.

  • spyrothedragon

    Looks like the 2010 Olympic Torch

  • shutuppat

    Pfff. That’s pretty low for a high five. Obviously that old man is delusional and is letting the kid practice his boxing skills, thinking that he kid is in fact Rocky Balboa, after having watched the entire series of movies front to back 10 times in a row. It’s a sordid, yet touching backstory, and you should be ashamed of yourself for trivializing it.

    The building looks cool. It’ll be neat to see its progression should they end up following through with the project.

  • Zane Stratton

    not bad, but a project this prestegious should really be striving for platnum LEED cert.

  • Federal League

    Nuke the entire city of Vancouver. Third world invader base camp central.

  • skyoneder

    Woot finally some creative architecture in Vancouver! it only took how many decades?

  • Jonovision

    All your base are belong to me.

  • Dan

    It could never meet LEED Platnum with the thermal bridging at the balconies. I would hazard a guess it will be hard pressed to actually reach LEED Gold. But we’ll see.

  • Mike

    I like it. Good comment, I know.

  • jen

    It just looks like another 9/11 disaster to me…

  • triynko

    Looks like it’ll tip over. Makes me nervous just to look at it.

  • Noise

    The only thing you will hear and smell is the non stop traffic if you live there. LOUD!

  • MiikeScott

    Instead of developing towers, develop the infrastructure to support the residents already living here. Fucking backwards city…

  • Marg Novak

    It’s just plain ugly! ~ and looks uncomfortably top-heavy! Not like! :/

  • Mike

    Yes, it makes sense that Canadians should not be able to afford to live in a Canadian city. It makes sense that the median yearly salary in Vancouver is $68,970, which is one of the lowest in all major cities in Canada, with the average home costing $800,000 in Vancouver (prices far beyond any other city). As long as there are cheerleaders like yourself saying “Oh well, that’s the way it is. I love Vancouver”, then it will indeed be the way it is. Your blind support facilitates a system that does not work for Canadians.

  • Dunning

    what’s a “floor to square ratio”?

  • David Wei

    Anyone remembered that Pacific Rim of Fire never planned to leave Vancouver?

  • renFromVan

    I can’t help wondering if they took into account that they’re building it in an earthquake zone (7)?

  • GM

    developers pay the city to develop structures like this, unfortunately the same does occur with civil infrastructure. Municipal government is tasked for this and apparently they’re running low on funds. While I agree with you that more emphasis should be placed on supporting existing infrastrucutre; the same incentive does not exist.

  • Matt Devlin

    I’m sure they paid very close attention to the fact that Vancouver is in an earthquake zone. The DT peninsula is completely bedrock, the safest material for constructing earthquake resistant foundations.

  • GuenterDerGesamtkuenstler

    I sure hope that I can get a beer in the Biergarten and a currywurst for a reasonable price

    in the plaza once this thing is built. It’s the least you owe the German-Canadians of BC for stealing a German word that has a lot of meaning to it and using it to make yourselves look cool while also taking the low road of making fun of Germans at the same time. You may think it’s clever, but I think it’s just lame to market yourselves as a work of German modernist art. You’re not. It’s just another condo and the owners will complain about any beer garden, just like they did in the Olympic Village.

  • Cameron Drysdale

    Beautiful BUT, does anyone consider the downstream consequences of introducing all these new parking spaces for more cars, how about the fact that there is NO opportunity for subsidized living here. Woodwards Building was a success, lets keep doing that. Great, you introduced rental units. 95 of them? a great idea but I will be surprised if that actually happens. Follow up in 10 years after this is built and we will see if it was successful. And the sub contract goes to the LOWEST bidder, you wouldn’t find me buy a unit even if I could afford it.

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