A new 18-storey, mixed use tower, proposed by Circadian Projects, appears ready to set a new standard for high density development in the City Centre. The development, at 9677 King George Boulevard, the current site of the Knight and Day restaurant, incorporates all the elements to be desired in new towers, such as interesting architecture, mixed-uses, street frontage, enhanced public green space, and LEED certification.
The design of the tower, led by Atelier Pacific, echoes the wide curves of the Central City tower, while adding a bold and modern podium and red vertical stripe. It is certainly far more interesting than the Infinity/Park Place towers, and definitely more unique than the D’Corize or CityPoint towers.
The podium, an essential component of the successful towers in Downtown Vancouver, incorporates a pharmacy, labs, and a coffee shop at the ground level, a restaurant and lounge on the second floor, and medical offices on the third floor. Even more importantly, these variety of uses will be accessible directly from the street, meaning a more engaging and exciting pedestrian experience.
The mixture of uses in this tower goes beyond the podium level however. Centred around a medical space theme that functions particularly well with the project’s proximity to Surrey Memorial, the tower is being designed to maximize leasing options. Plans include a possible care facility from the 4th to 10th floors, medical office space from the 11th to 16th floors, and a commons area and rooftop patio on the 17th floor. The floor plans can be changed to accommodate residential leases as well, if the market does not warrant a full medical tower.
The project will retain and enhance an existing creek on the west side of the property. A new public green space, with paths and a gazebo, will be constructed fronting onto this creek area. 84 new trees will be planted in the area, replacing the 1 mature tree that will be removed.
The development expects to meet LEED Silver certification. Green building features include tower orientation to ensure maximum daylight, on-site storm water management with bioswales, on-site renewable energy with a solar thermal water system, low e-glazing windows, low flow fixtures, LED lighting, energy efficient appliances, and recycled construction materials.
All in all, the project truly sets a new standard for developments in the City Centre. Most towers following Central City haven’t come close to that building’s success. This development however builds on Central City’s best elements, taking that standard to the next level with bolder architecture, even greater mixed uses, more active street frontage, and incorporating some of the most advanced green building technology available. There’s no doubt in my mind that if constructed, this will be the new bellwether for high density towers in the City.