Open House for proposed 1500 West Georgia 43-storey tower (Bosa/Kingswood): Sept 29 (Thurs)

1500-west-georgia-building-renderings-sept-2016Open House organized by City of Vancouver
When: 5 to 8 pm, September 29, 2016 (Thursday)
Where: Empire Landmark Hotel (1400 Robson Street)
Note: Applicant team and City staff will be available to answer questions.
Developer: Bosa Properties and Kingswood Properties

Provide comments by filling out online feedback form. Comments will be accepted up to the Public Hearing date (not yet schedule as of Sept 22), but you are encouraged to provide your comments by October 30, 2016 to allow staff to consider if any changes need to be made to the proposal and to represent your comments in the report to Council.

This is another outcome of mass rezoning of sections of our community shortly after the West End Community Plan was adopted by City Council in 2013.

This is an application to rezone 1500 West Georgia Street from Downtown (DD) District to Comprehensive Development (CD-1) District to allow for a 43-storey residential development adjacent to the existing office building. The proposal includes:

  • 217 market residential units with 26,242 m2 (282,452 sq.ft.) of new floor area;
  • a floor space ratio of 11.47 and a total floor area of 46,121 m2 (496,452 sq.ft.) across the entire site (including the existing office building);
  • a restaurant at the corner of Georgia and Nicola streets; and
  • seven levels of underground parking.

This rezoning is being considered under the Rezoning Policy for the West End. Is this proposal consistent with the West End Community Plan? Compare: http://www.vancouver.ca/westend

RELATED LINKS

Official rezoning information – Rezoning Application – 1500 West Georgia Street
http://rezoning.vancouver.ca/applications/1500wgeorgia/index.htm

Bosa tower (1500 W Georgia) 43 storeys revised concept proposed: Open house Feb 4, 2016
https://westendneighbours.wordpress.com/2016/02/03/bosa-tower-1500-w-georgia-open-house/

Open house scheduled for proposed space-age tower on West Georgia Street in Vancouver
by Charlie Smith, Georgia Straight, September 7th, 2016. Excert: In an email to friends and associates, Vancouver’s former director of planning, Ray Spaxman, declared that it would be “very helpful to the community if the [city] planning staff’s initial reactions to the application were made available at the upcoming open house”.
http://www.straight.com/news/775446/open-house-scheduled-proposed-space-age-tower-west-georgia-street-vancouver

Developers set out to remake 1500 block of West Georgia in Vancouver
by Charlie Smith on January 31st, 2016. Excerpt: Business in Vancouver’s Glen Korstrom recently reported that the project has been scaled back from 50 to 43 storeys because of the city’s concerns over view cones.
http://www.straight.com/news/628116/developers-set-out-remake-1500-block-west-georgia-vancouver

Three Vancouver neighbourhoods listed as threatened on heritage watch list,
by Wendy McLellan, The Province, May 09, 2016. Excerpt: Crown Life Plaza, 1500 West Georgia St —  The postmodern building, with its pool and waterfall, was built in 1978 by Vancouver architect Peter Cardew and marks the western edge of the city’s “central business district,” according to Heritage Vancouver. A proposal has been made to remove the pool and waterfall, or alter them, for development of a residential tower.
http://www.theprovince.com/news/three+vancouver+neighbourhoods+listed+threatened+heritage/11909481/story.html

Heritage Vancouver Single Top 10 endangered recent landmarks: Crown Life Plaza (1978) – (5-May-2016) Excerpt: The tower, pool and waterfall situated on the prominent corner at 1500 West Georgia Street function as the west gateway to the Central Business District (CBD), and are highly visible on the walking route from Stanley Park via the Causeway.
Architect Peter Cardew was the project architect for this building, which was originally known as Crown Life Plaza (1978). It is currently on the City’s informal list of Recent Landmarks, and the Heritage Commission has recently recommended that the entire immediate block, including the Plaza, be added to the Vancouver Heritage Register…. The siting, scale, form and overall character of the [proposed] new residential tower would completely alter the coherence and context of Cardew’s original design…..
Heritage Vancouver’s position

Heritage Vancouver supports infill on the east side of 1500 West Georgia Street.
However, we would like to see a design that would defer to this landmark complex as the CBD west gateway, and that would not significantly alter the pool or the waterfall.
What you can do
We strongly encourage the citizens of Vancouver to:
* Write a letter to Mayor and Council to express that 1500 West Georgia Street and other Recent Landmarks should be added to the Vancouver Heritage Register as part of the Heritage Action Plan.
* Write a letter to Mayor and Council to express that 1500 West Georgia is a masterful modernist complex that deserves to be preserved and respected, and that the proposed development for 1500 West Georgia Street is incompatible with the building, its setting and the context.
http://heritagevancouver.org/top10-watch-list/2016/2-crown-life-plaza/

Is the design seismically safe? Has it been tested in a megaquake zone?

Financial fault lines: The earthquake risk of Vancouver’s condo boom
By Alicja Siekierska, The Globe and Mail, 11-Aug-2016.
Excerpts… While Vancouver’s skyscrapers adhere to a code designed to safely get people out of buildings in the event of an earthquake, engineers say that some structures could become uninhabitable after a powerful quake strikes. “The problem is, in my mind, that people are buying condos in these new buildings and don’t realize that,” said Perry Adebar, the head of civil engineering at the University of British Columbia, noting that the less uniform and more irregular the structure of a high-rise building is, the more likely it will be damaged. “They figure that, surely it’s designed well. To be totally clear, I don’t think anybody realizes it. The more exciting and interesting your building is, the more likely you won’t be able to use it after a significant earthquake.” …  there are buildings that are as irregular internally as they seem externally, and these are the buildings that are much more likely to be damaged during an earthquake,” he explained. “Such buildings get built because architects do not appreciate the direct connection between structural irregularity and the likelihood that a building will be damaged during an earthquake, and engineers are constrained to design the building to meet the minimum requirements of the building code.

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Commentary about design and individual opinion…

The public are entitled to their architectural preferences and modernists have no right to judge them, says Leon Krier
http://m.bdonline.co.uk/comment/people-have-to-be-brainwashed-to-appreciate-the-southbank-or-robin-hood-gardens/5083408.article

We regularly hear people apologising for liking or disliking controversial modern buildings, be they the Bomber Command Memorial or the Shard, often adding “…but then, I am not an expert”, expressing remorse for dissenting with professional disapproval or endorsement.

And yet, appreciating and judging architecture is everyone’s affair. Just as food concerns us daily, we all live with and among buildings. That is why we all have strong feelings about the subject. Knowingly or unknowingly we constantly and radically judge architecture simply by liking or disliking places, buildings, cities. So it is with food, films, novels and people. Critics’ opinions don’t alter our feelings and judgement. They do, however, strongly influence our voicing or repressing those feelings.

If you like or dislike a dish or a car design your opinion counts, expert or no expert. Why should architecture be different. This is where ideology interferes. Modernism is sectarian, it understands itself as the only legitimate embodiment of modernity. It follows that a modernist critic cannot approve publicly of the Bomber Command Memorial whatever his feelings on the object. Modernists like Lord Foster or Sir Terence must condemn Poundbury, deprecating house buyers who obstinately prefer living in traditional homes and espouse Poundbury as a viable model for their future. Even though the beknighted censors live in well-publicised traditional homes in England and France, they scold house builders for selling traditional designs and regularly appeal to the industry to repent and reform.

Go to link for full text.

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