Downtown Vancouver highrise design reaches across, too

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Downtown Vancouver highrise design reaches across, too
The design by architect Ole Scheeren for a landmark residential tower at 1500 West Georgia St. in downtown Vancouver features horizontal elements jutting out.
Downtown Vancouver highrise design reaches across, too
The design by architect Ole Scheeren for a landmark residential tower at 1500 West Georgia St. in downtown Vancouver features horizontal elements jutting out.

A distinctive Jenga-like tower proposed for downtown Vancouver was designed to be a landmark on the city’s skyline, but there are concerns it signals a move away from harmonious urban planning.

Architect Ole Scheeren calls his design for 1500 West Georgia “a tower that reaches out horizontally to engage the space of the city.” The proposal from Bosa Properties and partner Kingswood Properties calls for a 500-foot residential tower with rectangular blocks jutting out from its sides, to be placed adjacent to the existing green glass office tower.

The developers were looking to build a “landmark building that tries to change and improve the skyline” of downtown when they bought the site last fall, said Daryl Simpson, senior vice-president at Bosa.

“We like that it’s the entrance to downtown, we like the views that a tower like this can afford through to Stanley Park, the West End and Coal Harbour,” he said.

The partners selected Scheeren’s firm to design the landmark structure after a short competition during which they looked outside of Vancouver for an innovative idea. Scheeren’s portfolio includes work with star architect Rem Koolhaas on the unique CCTV headquarters building in Beijing. []

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