Beach Towers rezoning and infill, if built, will affect public views, like this (Public hearing Feb 5)

Beach Towers if approved, view, Harwood Cardero, Feb-2013A West End resident has forwarded an image provided by the designers of the project at Beach Towers (1600 Beach Avenue). The image shows the proposed 9-storey mid-rise building, viewed from the sidewalk at the north-east corner of Harwood and Cardero Streets. It gives an indication of the massing of the proposed building and the relationship to the street, the impact of proposal on the openness of the Beach Towers property, and the reduction in public views through the site to English Bay. (This image shows an artist’s rendering of the building exterior, but see the grey shape below for a better idea of how it will block views.) Residents who don’t see this type of infill development (on an already dense block) as the future of the West End are encouraged to share their views through the Public Hearing scheduled for Tuesday, February 5. The public needs to be aware of techniques used by architects and developers when they portray their proposals. 

Elected officials and the public need to scrutinize the images presented by proponents of any project, as they are motivated to emphasize the most positive aspects, and minimize the negatives. See for example this story (Architectural illustrators use toolbox of tricks to ‘manipulate’ the way we look at buildings Tristin Hopper (National Post, 9-Nov-2012). Are the architects’ and proponents’ images truthful? These questions should be asked in every case, including this one for Beach Towers. Walk to the street and see for yourself.

Below are other images from the street and around the property to show what currently exists and will be eliminated or negatively affected if this rezoning is approved. The big grey block in the image below depicts how the proposed structure will steal a public view.

BeachTowers plaza Beach Towers from water P1020904[2] P1020903[2] clip_image002[2] BeachTowers sculpture


Here is a video of the swimming pool renters currently enjoy. It would be removed as part of the proposed project. The proposal would reduce the quality of life for current renters.


And here is a video, from a local, of what renters currently enjoy there. This too would all be eliminated from the general experience of the design originally intended for renters here, and privatized for renters who can afford to pay the top price the market will bear.


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