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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Alberta & British Columbia > SSP: Local Vancouver > Downtown & City of Vancouver

    Manulife Financial Tower in the SkyscraperPage Database

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  #1  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 1:39 AM
officedweller officedweller is offline
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980 Howe | 61M | 16 Flr | U/C

Here's the rezoning application link for 960/982 Howe:

http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/plannin...howe/index.htm

Quote:
CEI Architecture Planning Interiors has applied to the City of Vancouver to rezone 960 and 982 Howe Street from DD (Downtown District) to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District. The purpose of the rezoning is to permit the development of a 15-storey commercial office building. The proposed project would be comprised of 24,982 square metres (268,908 square feet) with a floor space ratio (FSR) of 11.2, and a maximum building height of 61 metres (200 feet).
Massing rationale:
http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/plannin...ts/massing.pdf

Elevation Renders:
http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/plannin...ments/elev.pdf
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  #2  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 1:45 AM
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SFUVancouver SFUVancouver is online now
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That's a nice piece of office infill. The massing is nice and simple plus the square footage is significant; on par with the new Oxford tower beside the Marine Building.

Thanks for posting.
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  #3  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 1:50 AM
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Blah, looks as exciting as something from south of the Gardiner in Toronto...
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  #4  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 2:53 AM
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But those are twice as tall.
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  #5  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 3:15 AM
jsbertram jsbertram is offline
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So what's going to happen to the 25' slice of land at 948 Howe that is left over when this project is done?
The land under 948 will become too valuable to have a just two story building sitting on it, but can a new 25' building be built between this project to the south and the neighbour to the north that maximizes the increased value of the land?

Last edited by jsbertram; Nov 8, 2011 at 6:45 AM.
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  #6  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 3:43 AM
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The application said that the owner of the project was making an offer to purchase it so it wouldn't be orphaned.
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  #7  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 6:22 AM
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is that where the royal bank and parking lot currently is? nice
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  #8  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 9:21 AM
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noice infill. Can't complain with all this influx of office proposals/construction! and yeah that's the rbc corner across from the courthouse
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 4:07 PM
phesto phesto is offline
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Looks okay. It's bothersome that they had to complicate the massing so as to reflect the surrounding context, but it was never going to be a standout building anyway.
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  #10  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 4:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phesto View Post
Looks okay. It's bothersome that they had to complicate the massing so as to reflect the surrounding context, but it was never going to be a standout building anyway.
??? I'm not sure what you find bothersome about that. Infill should be sensitive to its context, so that it doesn't stand out too much.
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  #11  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 5:51 PM
phesto phesto is offline
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Originally Posted by PaperTiger View Post
??? I'm not sure what you find bothersome about that. Infill should be sensitive to its context, so that it doesn't stand out too much.
Agreed, but it also stifles creativity in the design somewhat. You can tell the building has been designed with UDP approval in mind (not that there's anything wrong with that - if it was my money, that's what I would do!).

What is the definition of infill anyway? Is it where a project is built to the lot lines? I've seen the term used on this forum to describe everything from a two-unit townhouse project to this building, which is one of the largest recent downtown developments (by floor area) in recent years.
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  #12  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 6:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaperTiger View Post
Infill should be sensitive to its context, so that it doesn't stand out too much.
No. Why?

So much for individuality, I guess.

Frankly, having to ape aspects of surrounding buildings is practically the same as design by committee.
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  #13  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 6:27 PM
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I think you could use infill to describe many things. I sorta take it as building out a site to match the massing in the area (like here) or building out to zoning (in C-2 or C-3A areas). At 200' though, this is definitely pushing the "infill" definition, even if it is downtown. I think it's a great looking building considering the site restraints (height/viewcones) and we should never complain about new office projects.
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Last edited by wrenegade; Dec 9, 2011 at 5:24 PM.
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  #14  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 7:43 PM
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I'll take the devil's advocate approach and voice my opinion that this particular infill is too tall for its site. It strains to fit in, but sticks up about 4 storeys too high for where it is. If it were more interesting in design and instead attempted to add something architecturally interesting to the site, then I'd be more encouraging of height. But they are essentially filling in the corner with an over-tall, uninteresting, responsive design that should either blow the height restriction altogether and ask to go very tall or be 'responsive' and take away some of that mass from the top and the corner.
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  #15  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 9:17 PM
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This building will be considerably shorter than the Electric Avenue complex on the west side of Robson Square - Vancouver is just not familiar with tall street walls (Dunsmuir from Granville to Burrard is really our only example).

It's not the "contextual" aspect (next to Robson Square precinct) that's limiting height - it's the dreaded view cone.

The design isn't all that bad. The cornice line introduces a roof deck that the tenants will like (the massing reminds me of the MaRS addition to Toronto General Hospital, but in a much more superficial manner). See here:

MaRS Discovery District, Toronto:

http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/showthr...Hamann)/page20

By comparison, the Robson Court office building a block away is just curtain wall on the street side with an angled corner. It's main feature is a massive stained glass window inside the lobby.
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  #16  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 10:18 PM
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Think it's too early to tell, the massing itself seems fine. I think the details that will go into it are what will make or break it. At this point it's still unknown if the neighbouring property will join in or not, if it does that will change the ratio and feel of the building.
That said this is a sizeable project and with all the other projects will create some real oppurtunity in this city.
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  #17  
Old Posted Nov 8, 2011, 10:22 PM
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Let me continue to be pessimistic for a moment, and firstly say that it is highly unlikely the quality of the building going up in Toronto will be what we see on this site--although I would like to be pleasantly surprised.

If the roof deck becomes anything other than a smokers hangout I will be surprised. But again, would like to be pleasantly surprised this is not the case.

If the building pictured what we get at the Vancouver site, then perhaps the height at 15 storeys with a high degree of transparency and interesting surface treatments would be great.

This is actually quite a prominent site, or has the potential to be--being a main corridor out of downtown, intersecting with another main corridor and across from a significant public building--albeit at the back side of it.

A mediocre building at lower height is okay, but not at the proposed one. This building doesn't measure up--yet.
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  #18  
Old Posted Nov 9, 2011, 12:19 AM
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I'd rather have the smokers on a balcony high above the sidewalk than lining the sidewalk.

Transparency is probably what you don't want - otherwise it'll have that cluttered condo look and the two tints won't be distinct.
On the other hand, if it's too reflective, it'll just reflect the backside of the Law Courts (not very attractive) -
so maybe a darkly tinted glass and a silvery tinted accent glass would work.

There's an office building (Revenue Canada?) at 1050 West Pender that has two tones.
The tones are distinct on that building (although the building it self isn't attractive).


http://www.realinsite.com/index.php?...1954&pagenum=3

Marinaside Residences also tried to do the same thing
(green tint and blue tint on the same tower) and it doesn't show up enough.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/vancouv...298521/detail/

Last edited by officedweller; Nov 9, 2011 at 12:59 AM.
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  #19  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2011, 3:53 AM
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This one is speeding along, going to the UDP next week, Dec 14th.
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  #20  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2011, 12:38 PM
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I don't think that height needs to be an issue with this paticular building. And, no, I'm not intimidated or angered by the d¤¤¤ view corridors in this case.

The main reason it seems good, IMHO, is that it provides a nice continuity on the Howe St side of Robson Square (which, on its southern half facing Howe, reminds me of a bomb shelter or such.)
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