Irregularly stacked box-like volumes with projecting habitats that ’emanate’ from the core structure – this in a nutshell defines the glass skyscraper by architect Ole Scheeren – in his first solo project outside Asia. To that end, this vertical conception with its stacked-approach (a norm is that is already exhibited by the BIG’s 2 World Trade Center and nhow Amsterdam RAI) is envisaged for the 1500 West Georgia Street in Vancouver, Canada. This arrangement – according to the architect, signifies the horizontal scope of living in a vertical high-rise, while at the same time allowing for efficient (and dynamic) layouts of the individual habitats
In terms of spatial scope, the building will consist of 48 floors for residential use – that will account for a total of 235 apartments. The units will be arranged above two floors at the ground level, and these floors are designed for some mixed-use zones. The scope of the structure will also continue underground, with six basement levels conforming to a large parking space, thus bringing the total usable floor area of the building at 30,200 sq m (or around 325,000 sq ft).
As for the particular style of these projecting apartments (complemented by a flurry of cuboids along the roof), the designer has made it clear – the multiple terraces are formed in accordance to their horizontal shifts. This arrangement aids in creating a more valid connection (both physical and emotional) between the indoor-dwelling residents and the outdoor cityscape of Vancouver. In fact, the location of the tower is justified with the metropolitan’s urban sprawl that begins to extend from this particular street point.
In that regard, Ole Scheeren’s vertical building is envisioned to stand out from the generic typology of the other buildings of Vancouver – with its three-dimensional sculpture like bearing. And beyond just the visual impact, the apartment tower is also designed to account for practicality. This is demonstrated by the maximized living space with offset habitable-zones, in spite of the relatively small footprint of the structure. As Ole Scheeren himself made it clear –
Vancouver possesses a unique balance of urban conditions surrounded by spectacular nature that provides fertile ground for envisioning new possibilities for future living in a cosmopolitan and environmentally-friendly city. The design for this building exemplifies our ambition to reconnect architecture with the natural and civic environment and go beyond the hermetic confines of towers that increasingly inscribe our lives.