The Ormidale Block to undergo a facelift and more

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This historically well known site 151 West Hastings located on the edge of Gastown, Ormidale Block, will become the neighbourhood’s newest building equipped with energy efficient systems.

The heritage building ornate in twentieth century Richardsonian Romanesque style, was once fashioned after Chicago’s Marshall Field’s Department store. 151 Hastings Street was originally the home of several  wholesale importers and named after the first owner of the building, Robert Henry Walker. It was he who coined the building Ormidale after his ancestral home in Scotland.

1905 The Ormidale Block

Image: City of Vancouver Archives

Image: City of Vancouver Archives

Consistent of its wondrous facade, the building will undergo extensive restoration and scheduled to reopen in spring 2015.

Proposed frontage and Ormidale facelift

Image: B+H Architects

Image: B+H Architects

According to Century Group, the handler of the building rejuvenation efforts, Gastown’s newest offering includes:

  • Total rentable area of 35,611 sq. ft.
  • Rentable office area of 23,599 sq. ft.
  • Rentable retail area of 12,012 sq. ft.
  • Stable thermal systems
  • Energy efficiency and state of the art HVAC system
  • Shared access to 4,800 sq. ft of green rooftop deck
  • Indoor and outdoor bicycle racks
  • Shower facilities
  • Electric bike plug-in systems
  • Building entrances from West Hastings and West Cordova

The developer emphasizes the business area comprising of 100 commercial buildings that currently host approximately 580 businesses. To maintain the historical essence of the 19 acre neighbourhood, Gastown specifically abides by HA-2 zoning (Historic Area District). This code ensures that the architectural character of the district will not be lost in the years of rebuilding and rejuvenating the oldest side of Vancouver.

Local businesses by industry

Image: Century Group

Image: Century Group

Proposed building program

Image: Century Group

Image: Century Group

The Ormidale Block will be re-designed by B+H Architects to seamlessly combine the facade facelift aesthetics, with a brand new internal structure. Ideally, the building should carry all of the character appeal of Gastown along with the contemporary features of a great office building. The building facade on West Hastings street will be restored to its prestigious beginnings, along with the two-storey curtain glass storefront.

New Ormidale facade after completion

Image: B+H Architects

Image: B+H Architects

The new building envelope will be designed to drastically reduce the thermal loads of the building. Due to the existing multiple-wall exposure conditions, the architects have chosen to employ increased insulation, high-performance windows and curtain wall which maximizes the use of daylight. These three conditions synergize to offer an extremely high performance envelope.

New Cordova entrance to Ormidale after completion

Image: B+H Architects

Image: B+H Architects

Century Group recognizes the desire for the hip, independent and high-tech firms to operate in creative spaces which corporate buildings often lack.   It is the interesting melange of industrious spirit and culture driven establishments that now aggregate in Gastown.

 

Featured Image: B+H Architects

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Perry Cheung is a contributing writer, and trained as an architect. At Vancity Buzz he shares his boundless passions for architecture, talks about business, commercial development, and local tech.
@pcitybuzz

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