Posted Apr 13, 2008, 8:11 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
What is known is the tower will be 300 feet, quoted by the UDP meeting minutes:
1. 745 Thurlow Street
Use: 23-storey office tower, with other commercial uses at grade, with height of 300 ft. and FSR of 15.4
Zoning: DD to CD-1
Application Status: Rezoning
Architect: Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership
Delegation: Mark Whitehead & Mark Thompson, Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership; Chris Sterry, PWL Partnership Landscape Architects Inc.
Staff: Phil Mondor/Ralph Segal
EVALUATION: SUPPORT (3-2)
Introduction: Phil Mondor, Rezoning Planner, introduced the proposal for a rezoning application at the corner of Thurlow and Alberni Streets. The maximum FSR for the area is 7 with applicant seeking 15.4 FSR. The proposal is for a 2 storey retail podium with a 23 storey office tower and below grade parking. There is a view cone from the False Creek Seawall and the height of the tower will be slightly over the 300 foot limit. City Policy encourages transfer of density and the applicant will be transferring density from the Evergreen property on West Pender Street. Although there isn’t a Green Building Strategy in place, the City has an expectation that new buildings will achieve at least LEEDTM Silver. The applicant will be pursuing a LEEDTM Gold registration and will be the first office tower in the city to do so.
The Panel adjourned to the model, where Ralph Segal, Development Planner described the surrounding area and the design development for the property.
Advice from the Panel on this application is sought on the following:
1. Overall built form:
Does the proposed building massing accommodate the increased density, creating an appropriate urban design “fit” in this context?
2. Pedestrian Environment:
Will the proposal’s Public Realm interface contribute to pedestrian activity and amenity?
3. Preliminary Architectural Design Concept:
Does the proposed architectural design respond appropriately to this site and context?
Mr. Mondor and Mr. Segal took questions from the Panel.
Applicant’s Introductory Comments: Mark Whitehead, Architect, further described the proposal noting the various sustainable measures planned for the site including green roofs and water conservation. He noted that they are committed to achieving LEEDTM Gold for the project.
Chris Sterry, Landscape Architect, described the landscape plans for the project noting the roof gardens as well as the plans for green wall proposed for the upper portions of the podium façade on the lane.
The applicant team took questions from the Panel.
Panel’s Consensus on Key Aspects Needing Improvement:
Consider looking at the density on the site and adjusting the form of the building; and
Consider the type and amount of glazing in order to make for a sustainable building.
Related Commentary: The Panel supported the proposal and thought it was a very interesting project and commended the applicant for an excellent presentation.
The Panel thought it was a great location for an office building and that it would animate Alberni Street. Some of the Panel thought the two levels of retail were a benefit in terms of also animating the street. The Panel did not have any concerns regarding shadowing into public spaces.
The Panel commended the applicant for their commitment to achieve LEEDTM Gold registration. One Panel member suggested angling the glass for more solar control especially on the south side of the building. It was suggested that care needed to be taken in the building design to make it sustainable considering the high percentage of glazing.
There was good support for the office use on the site. Several Panel members were concerned with the amount of density being asked for in this submission. There was a comment that, in the Development Permit submission, the applicant should further develop the expression of the building. They felt there could be a more strongly sculpted form to the building. The Panel did not have any concerns regarding the floor plate size and one Panel member commented that they would like to see the floor plates more clearly expressed on the building facade.
Several members of the Panel thought the building had a strong entrance and one member commented that the canopy could project more strongly. It was noted that the quality of the detailing would be key to the success of the project.
Most of the Panel liked the landscape plans and thought the green roof on the lower level would work but they weren’t sure about the green roof on the 23rd floor of the tower as they felt it hadn’t been integrated into the building. A couple of Panel members thought the public realm had not been as well developed as the roof level. There was also a comment that the public open space on the podium was a little too narrow and may have some problems with wind shear. Several members of the Panel noted that it would be wonderful to have the green wall visible from Robson Street.
Several members of the Panel noted that the oval plan forms in the roof landscaping did not seem to complement the oval mechanical enclosure on the roof.
Applicant’s Response: Mr. Whitehead thanked the Panel for their comments and noted that they will be back to the UDP at a future date. He added that they will not be using 100 per cent glazing but some spandrel glass or frosted glass.
It's also listed under the inventory of upcoming office projects: http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=142503
Last edited by Cypherus; Apr 13, 2008 at 8:27 PM.