Bold 30-storey micro-condo tower proposed for Davie Street

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Image: Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA)

Could micro-condos help address Vancouver’s housing supply and affordability issues?

Reliance Properties plans to build a 25 to 30-storey tower at 902 Davie Street, a site at the southwest corner of Davie and Hornby streets that is currently occupied by a 7-Eleven convenience store.

The tower will be comprised of micro-units between 175 and 275 square feet, with outdoor gardens every few floors and a rooftop space as well as amenities such as a dining spaces, an electronic library and a study hall.

According to Retail Insider, the tower’s podium includes a grocery store between 20,000 and 35,000 square feet in size. Although one of the building’s renderings suggest a Whole Foods store for the location, the grocery chain has not been confirmed for the site.

Some will love the facade design for the contrast it provides, but others will perhaps hate it for breaking the city’s condominium ‘cookie cutter’ homogeneity of green and blue-coloured glass towers.

Los Angeles-based Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA) is responsible for the tower’s design of a bold, black ‘bee hive’ that highlight the perimeter dimensions of each micro-condo unit.

“Each one of these strata or blocks includes a corner void that has been cut out of the original form that creates local cantilevers and momentary disruptions in the extrusion of the mass,” writes NMDA on their website. “The treatment of the facades articulates the tension between foreground and background, with ironically, the negative spaces positioned as ‘unique’ elements within the field.”

“In combination with the highly impastoed red surfaces of the voids, the overall graphic and formal effect of the project contrasts the straightforward against the sculptural.”

The building is located on the same city block as the Jim Pattison Group’s Burrard Place, which is another Reliance Properties project and accounted for in the renderings. Construction on the three-building project, which includes a 54-storey and 36-storey residential towers and a 7-storey office building, is expected to begin soon.

902 Davie Street has yet to reach the City of Vancouver’s formal application stage. But if approved, this will be Reliance Properties’ second micro-unit condo project in Vancouver.

In 2011, the developer transformed Burns Block on 18 Hastings Street into a 30-unit micro-condo development consisting of units between 226 to 291 square feet in size.

Image: Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA)

Image: Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA)

Image: Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA)

Image: Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA)

Image: Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA)

Image: Neil M. Denari Architects (NMDA)

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Kenneth Chan Deputy Editor & Social Media Manager at Vancity Buzz. He covers stories pertaining to local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation, infrastructure, and anything else that makes a difference in the lives of Vancouverites. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]vancitybuzz.com
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